A self-acclaimed prophet who also worked as a bureau de change operator has been arrested for allegedly stealing $500 from a customer.
The 50-year-old suspect, Moses Edwin, who claimed to be a prophet of an unnamed church, was accused of stealing the money from a customer who went to change $5000 around the Lagos Airport Hotel in Ikeja.
Edwin was arrested by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command after the customer had identified him.
The victim, Adebayo Lukman, a member the National Youth Service Corps serving in Lagos, was said to have met Edwin when he drove to the hotel to assist his mother to change $5,000 to naira.
Metro learnt that the suspect had promised an exchange rate of N387 to a dollar, but insisted that the victim should hand over the dollar bills to confirm they were genuine.
He reportedly invited another member of his gang, Daniel Ebhohimen, who distracted the victim while the check was going on, giving Edwin the opportunity to remove $500 before handing over $4500 back to unsuspecting Lukman who sat in his car.
According to the victim, “I was trying to help my mum change the $5,000. I got to Airport Hotel and I met these men. After negotiating with them, they offered me N387 to a dollar.
“They took my details on the ground that the transaction was going to be online. Edwin requested that I surrender the $5,000 bills for them to confirm.
“Reluctantly, I gave them but I was monitoring them and I was counting along with them in my car.
“They were mid-way into the counting when another member of the gang distracted me from the driver side of my car.
“Thereafter, they handed back the money to me that it was complete and we headed to one of the banks in Opebi.
“All along they prevented me from counting the money. At the bank, they told me the rate they gave me was no longer possible and that they were backing out, but I offered for a renegotiation.
“I told them to excuse me and I went into the bank’s restroom to confirm the money. I counted it and $500 was missing. Before I could come out they had run away. The security man at the door told me that he saw them rushing out of the bank.
“I went to where I met them, but I couldn’t see them, until the third day after when I saw Edwin and invited the police.”
Edwin, in his statement to the police, confessed to the crime. He stated that he didn’t follow the gang to bank, adding that he only ordered his other gang members to finish up the transaction.
He added that he was given N10, 000 when they came back from the bank.
Edwin thereafter assured the police that his gang was ready for amicable settlement by paying back the missing $500.
Confirming the arrest, the command’s spokesman, Olarinde Famous-Cole told Metro that the suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.