By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, yesterday burst a visa racketeering syndicate and arrested the mastermind, one Emu-Larry Chidiebere.
The 28-year-old suspect was arrested for being involved in United Arab Emirates’ visa racketeering scheme at the Ajah area of Lagos State.
The suspect, who hails from Ika North Local Government Area in Delta State, with his gang, were said to have swindled one Abraham Jude and four other persons of N2million, under the false pretence of helping them procure a Dubai visa.
According to Jude, one of the victims, “when I was laid off where I was working in Abuja. I had intention of moving out of the country to start a new life.
“Then, I met his uncle (the suspect) Samuel Obed, who told me his nephew was working with one company at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that he could help me to secure the country’s visa.
“We started to communicate via telephone, and he assured me that he could secure Dubai Visa for me at a reasonable price. He requested for N400,000, which I told him I can’t afford such huge amount of money at that particular point in time.
“Later, he called me again that his work place in Dubai was recruiting and he had already submitted my name for employment. Afterwards, he started to persuade me by telling me the benefits that are attached to the employment.
“As a result of this, I began to source for the money by all means, and at the end of the day, I got the N400,000 and sent to him in Dubai through his Access Bank account number: 0029521100.
“But after receiving the money, he developed a hostile attitude towards me, and eventually stopped picking my calls whenever I put calls across to him.
“Even if he managed to pick the call, he will just tell me I shouldn’t bother myself anymore that my money has gone down the drain.
“It was at this point, I came to RRS to report the case. And the policemen told me anytime he is in Nigeria I should let them know.
“It was gathered that the RRS operatives were on his trail for four months monitoring his movement between Nigeria and Dubai.
“After four months, I got a hint that he had arrived the country but had changed his telephone line. As fate would have it, I got his new line and handed it over to the RRS officers, they took up the surveillance from that end, which eventually led to his arrest.”
In his confessional statement, the suspect said, “I can’t deny the fact that I collected the N400, 000 from him. I tried to secure the visa for him but all my efforts to do so were in vain. And I started to spend the money gradually till I finished it all.”
RRS investigators told THISDAY that the suspect has under the guise of helping four other victims to obtain Dubai visa, collected a total of N1.6 million from them, and that some of them only came forward when they learnt that he had been arrested.
While confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer of Lagos State, Dolapo Badmus, a Superintendent of Police said the command will not rest on its oars in protecting rights of any individual in the country.
The suspect has since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, for further investigation.