The operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command have arrested four suspects for allegedly swindling members of the public of various sums of money.
Metro learnt that the four suspects were picked up separately by the operatives in three incidents of fraud at Maryland, Ojodu Berger and Ajegunle.
The suspects, Kenneth, 36; Uba, 41; Joseph, 40 and Ikechukwu, 25 (surnames withheld), individually confessed to RRS officers during interrogation.
According to one of the victims, Ibeh Chiwenu, she was going to Ojodu Berger from Ojota when Kenneth, driving an ash colour Toyota Camry 1997 model with the registration number SMK 886 DK stopped at the bus stop to pick her.
“As he drove along, he picked another passenger on Kudirat Abiola Way. We were still on Kudirat Abiola Way when the new passenger started a conversation in something like French language with the driver.
“The driver then pleaded that he wanted to take the new passenger to Customs’ Office on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, where his goods were seized. It was there that their story changed and I became the subject of their manipulation in connivance with a supposed Customs agent and a pastor.”
She further explained that “under the pretext that the four of us should assist the man whose goods were trapped with the Customs over export duties, they brainwashed me into releasing my ATM card and led me to withdraw the last N9,000 from my account.
After this, the pastor prayed for me and told me to go home and get more money which my family kept at home.
All these happened last week. Today, Thursday, my husband and I were standing at the Maryland Bus Stop. I saw the same Toyota Camry with same number plate and a new driver, but beside him was the former driver that lured me into fraud, pretending to be a passenger. I alerted RRS officers stationed on Maryland and they arrested them.”
The two other suspects, Joseph and Ikechukwu were arrested separately, but in similar circumstances last Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Joseph disclosed to interrogators that he belonged to a fraud syndicate led by one man identified as Toronto, adding that their leader, who is at large, trained over 40 of them to go out daily in search of would-be victims.
“When we hit jackpot, we share it into five parts. Toronto takes two parts. Two of us in a team share two and we would share the remaining part to others.
Presently, our office in Ajegunle had been busted by the police. Toronto, as I was told, had relocated to somewhere at Surulere. Whenever we have issues with the police, he comes around to secure our bail,” he disclosed.
Responding to the development, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmos, said the police would not relent in their duties of making the state crime-free but warned members of the public to be wary of suspicious dealings.
The four suspects were said to have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti.