A member of a fraud syndicate arrested by the police in Lagos say they have more than 40 members who comb the streets of the city looking for victims daily.
According to Punch, the suspect, Joseph Onuoha, confessed that the syndicate headed by one Toronto, are sent out daily in batches looking for victims to they dupe.
The 40-year-old Onuoha told RRS operatives that Toronto, who is now at large, personally trained the members of the syndicate and also rewarded them based on their successes.
“Anytime we hit jackpot, we would divide our loot into five parts. Toronto would take two parts. Two of us in a team would share two and we would share the remaining part to others.
Our office in Ajegunle has been busted by the police. Toronto, as I was told, has relocated to somewhere in Surulere. Whenever we have issues with the police, he comes around to secure our bail.”
Onuoha was arrested alongside three other suspects for allegedly swindling members of the public of various sums of money.
He alongside the others, Kenneth Umukoro, 36, Uba Utokcha, 41 and Ikechukwu Okeke, 25, were arrested at different locations in connection with three cases of fraud in Maryland, Ojodu Berger and Ajegunle between Tuesday and Thursday last week.
The suspects, according to the police, were arrested after they picked up a lady, Chinwe Ibeh, in a vehicle at the Ojota area of the state and defrauded her.
Narrating how she was duped, Ibeh told the RRS men that she was going to Ojodu Berger from Ojota when Umukoro, driving an ash colour Toyota Camry 1997 model with number plate, SMK 886 DK, stopped at the bus stop to pick her.
“He picked another passenger on Kudirat Abiola Way. We were still on Kudirat Abiola Way when the new passenger started a conversation in French language with the driver.
The driver pleaded that he wanted to take the new passenger to the custom’s office on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, where his goods were seized.
At the office, the driver, a man that claimed to be a customs agent, a pastor and the goods owner brainwashed me into releasing my Automated Teller Machine 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. When I got home, I came back to my senses and told my husband about the incident.
A few days later, my husband and I were standing at the Maryland bus stop when I saw the same Toyota Camry with same number plate and a new driver.
However, sitting beside the driver was the former driver that lured me into the fraud, pretending to be a passenger. I alerted RRS officers stationed at Maryland, who arrested them.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects, warned members of the public to be wary of spurious deals.
She added that the four suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, and would be charged to court there after.