The Nigerian Police Force, on Thursday paraded four suspected members of a fraud syndicate which the police said specializes in impersonating top government officials and prominent Nigerians in order to defraud their unsuspecting victims.
Force Spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said that the breakthrough was as a result of the directive given by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, to the force’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT, to unravel those behind the heinous acts and bring them to justice.
Among the suspects paraded at the force headquarters, Abuja are Ovie Ogo, a 47-year old native of Ekpan, Delta state; 40-year old Abdullazeez Eragbe, from Ikabigbo, Edo State; Babatunde Oshamoto,49 years, from Iyamoye, Ijumu LGA of Kogi State, and 25-year old Samuel Idah from Uromi, Edo State.
Another suspect, Prince Attah a.k.a Maurice, is believed to be based in United Kingdom and is currently at large.
The police PRO said that a lot of incriminating items were recovered from the suspects, including: “14 assorted G.S.M sets, all with sim cards registered with the names of top government officials and other prominent Nigerians; several extra registered sim cards, as well as a diary containing phone numbers of several top government officials and prominent persons in the country.”
“These notorious suspected criminals … posed as chief of staff to President, Senate President, National Security Adviser to President, Minister of petroleum, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport, Chief Bola Tinubu, and many other prominent Nigerians,” Moshood said.
He narrated that the operation that led to the arrest of the suspected fraudsters was carried out “in synergy with the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) after a painstaking and sustained surveillance by IRT.”
The police spokesman said: “The four man gang notorious syndicate led by one High Chief Ovie Ogo … was arrested in an Hotel in Kaduna State.
“High Chief Ovie Ogo … 47yrs native of Omoku Rivers State impersonates Prominent Citizens from the South-South and Southeast.
“Abdulazeez Eragbe 40yrs impersonates prominent citizens from the North, born and brought up in Kaduna speaks Hausa fluently.
“Babatunde Oshamoto 49yrs impersonates prominent citizens from the South West and North Central.
“Samuel Idah 25yrs supplies them with Sim cards registered with the names of the prominent Citizens.”
Moshood further disclosed that all the suspects had confessed to the crime and admitted to have made over ₦20Million from their criminal acts within the last 6 months before they were arrested.
Their victims included a Ghanaian woman who wanted to purchase an Oil block in Nigeria, two men, names withheld, who were seeking federal appointments, as well as another individual looking for contract.
The Police spokesman said that investigation was ongoing to arrest the other suspects at large while those arrested will be charged to court on completion of investigation.
He advised the general public to be careful and verify the identity of whosoever they may wish to transact business or relate with.