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Two officials from the Ministry of Environment have been fingered by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over allegations of fraud.

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The major suspect identified as Tariah Otumba Fred, who is a staff of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Bayelsa State, is alleged to be a serial fraudster.

The suspect has reportedly been involved in forgery, extortion, obtaining money under false pretence, impersonation and other fraudulent activities.

A statement issued by the commission's Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, read:

“The suspect is alleged to have been involved in forgery, extortion, obtaining money under false pretence, impersonation and other fraudulent activities.

“Fred is said to head a notorious syndicate who defrauded unsuspecting members of the public and corporate organisations using the office of the Federal Controller of Environment, Yenagoa.

“The suspect is alleged to have opened an account in Sterling Bank using the name, the Controller, Federal Ministry of Environment, Bayelsa State in which he was a signatory alongside one Mr. Education Zghadina who has also been arrested by the Commission."

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Fred's mode of operation was to give companies within the state, demand notice of payments to be made to the Federal Ministry of Environment for environmental impact assessment permit.

“The suspect who also presented himself as pollution coordinator of the ministry, a position that does not exist, employed officers whom he issued identity cards as Revenue Collecting agents for the ministry.

“When a search was conducted in his house, several incriminating items including fake Identity cards of various organisations, stamps of different organizations, letterheads of the National Inland Waterways and Ministry of Environment, and Identity card with his picture as a Navy Captain were recovered.

“The suspects will be arraigned in court as soon as the investigation is completed.”

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