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Police end fun of fraudsters

Posted by By OLUWATOYOSI OGUNSEYE on 2006/09/20 | Views: 853 |

Police end fun of fraudsters

Lagosians can now heave a sigh of relief as a syndicate that defrauded innocent people has been smashed by the police.

Lagosians can now heave a sigh of relief as a syndicate that defrauded innocent people has been smashed by the police.

Detectives at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Lagos stormed the Idi-Araba hide-out of the gang last week. After arresting some of the suspects, they got the shock of their lives when hoodlums and supporters of the syndicate blocked the road brandishing weapons.

A police source said: "On getting to Idi-Araba, we got some of the suspects arrested but were surprised when we could not find our way out of the area. Hoodlums had brought out tubes and benches, blocking the road with them. We had to disarm the touts, who declared that we could not leave the area with the suspects in our van. We had to disarm them and also effect their arrest before we left."

Daily Sun gathered that the cops had mounted surveillance in the area several weeks before the suspects were nabbed. The source said: "A woman, who was their victim, wrote a petition to the commissioner of police, alleging that a group of people kidnapped her from the General Hospital to Idi Araba. On getting to their hide-out, they allegedly snatched her bag containing N270,000 and pushed her out of the place. Locating the place was difficult. After sending spies into the area, we drove in there and found out that members of the gang were hiding in a shrine."

One of the suspects, Rose Benjamin, 40, disclosed that the gang had over 100 members. She said: "We are more than 100 and are scattered all over Lagos. I don’t know everybody in the group because we all have our teams.

I joined them eight months ago, after they duped me and collected N450,000 from me. I used to be a trader but after they collected the money from me, over a period of time, I became jobless and was broke.

"I begged them to return my money. They refused, saying that the only help they could render to me was to join them. The name of my boss is Ego and we have small cabs we operate with. He would pick up passengers on the road, telling them cock and bull stories on how to acquire riches overnight riches. If the victim believes us, we would take the person to our office at Idi Araba, and collect all the money the victim has.

"For every customer, I got for Madam Ego, I was given 10 per cent. I have got four victims during my eight-month stay with the gang, making an average of N20, 000 on each occasion.

The oldest member of the gang, Bartholomew Onyekpe, 52, disclosed that he left his bricklaying job in 2004 to join the gang. He said: "I used to be a bricklayer and was comfortable even though I was not earning much. All that came to an end, when I fell victim of the gang. They collected all my hard earned money. They said the only help they could render was for me to join them. I later joined them with the intention of leaving them after getting back the money they collected from me. I have got only two customers since then.

Also arrested was the driver to the leader of the syndicate, Benson Odiye, who, however, denied being a member of the gang, "I only drive madam about. I did not know that she was involved in 419."

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.