The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command yesterday arrested one Elvis Michael on suspicion of fraudulently duping 600 Abuja residents of N6, 498,00.00, using his company, Best Plan Cooperative Credit and Thrift, later found to be a ‘wonder bank’ without legal operating license. In a statement signed by the Command’s PPRO, Anjuguri Manzah, on behalf of the FCT Police Commissioner, Mustafa Muhammed, said the suspect has used the ‘wonder bank’ to defraud petty traders of their hard earned money through a purported loan scheme. According to the statement, over 600 traders have deposited Six Million Four Hundred and Ninety-Eight Thousand Three Hundred Naira (N6,498,000) with Best Plan Cooperative Credit and Thrift without securing the loan promised them by the operator.
The statement read: “The suspect who was arrested at Jikwoyi in possession of the cash sum of N828,000.00, proceed of the day’s collection, has confessed to the crime and has been cooperating with the Police in its investigation.” On his modus operandi, Police said, the suspect uses its agents at market places and other strategic spots to scout for potential customers who are encouraged to take up the juicy loan offer of the cooperative. The statement said: “The customers are then cajoled to register with the Cooperative with the sum of Two Thousand Naira (N2,000). Sequel to which the customer will be requested to deposit cash summing up to 20 percent of the total loan with the cooperative before the loan will be approved to the customer.
“Over eighty victims have come out to volunteer their statement to the Police on the nefarious activities of the so called cooperative and how they were lured into parting with their hard earned savings. “The FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Muhammad Mustafa has assured members of the Public that the Command will carry-out a discreet investigation that will see to the proper prosecution of those involved in this fraudulent act.” The Police boss enjoined FCT residents to always verify and carry-out thorough background check on Cooperatives or organisations approaching them with loan offers to forestall being defrauded. He cautioned job seekers should seek proper clarification from relevant authorities before accepting job offers to forestall the risk of being used for fraudulent activity without their knowledge.