Detectives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a suspected fraudster, one Sylvester Alvin Onapobe, for allegedly operating fake Facebook accounts of prominent and influential Nigerians to swindle local and foreign-based businessmen.
One of the persons he impersonated was Nollywood star, Michael Godson Ifeanyi, before he was arrested.
The suspect who hails from Delta State had successfully collected the sum of N3.5 million from one of Godson’s fans based in France.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the incident, said the arrest was sequel to a report to the office of the Commissioner of Police.
She said the Nollywood actor had reported that some unknown persons have created a fake Facebook account in his name to defraud his fans.
She said based on the strength of the report, the command swung into action and detailed Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdulmajid Isah to investigate the matter.
She said, “Consequently, the team trailed the suspect to his hideout on the Island from where he was arrested.
“During course of investigation, the team discovered that the suspect had actually collected the sum of N3.5 m from one of Godson’s fans based in France.
“Investigations revealed that the suspect had met Godson’s fan on Facebook during which he solicited for the said amount which he claimed was to be used in organizing a Nollywood film festival in the country.
“The amount was then paid into the suspect account. The suspect who confessed to the crime admitted operating a syndicate.
“Effort is ongoing to tracking down other members of the syndicate. He would soon be charged to court.”
Confessing, the suspect said, “We are a syndicate. We open fake Facebook account of prominent personalities, Nollywood actors and actresses. It is through these fake Facebook account that we meet with those who are interested in making friends with us.
“It is during one of these occasions that we met with a fan of Godson. We sold the idea of organizing a Nollywood film festival in Nigeria to him and he became interested. We later told him that we needed some cash for logistics. He later send about N3.5 million to us”.