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Police nab fake customs auctioneers in Edo

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The fraudsters who impersonate officials of the Nigeria Customs Service at the auction department on Facebook and other social media sites have been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) for defrauding a businessman of the sum of N4.3 million in a car auctioning deal.  

It was gathered that the suspects, simply identified as Saturday and Amos, were arrested in their hometown in Ewan area of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State after the victim, Adeniyi Adegboyega, a Lagos-based businessman, made a complaint to the Inspector General of Police that the suspects who he met on Facebook made him believe they were genuine custom officials on auction exercise.   

The victim in his statement to the police stated: “I met a Facebook user with the name Olaiya Funke in the beginning of the year. On May 23, Olaiya Funke sent me an advertisement of the customs auction sales for 2019 and introduced me to one Mohammed Mutari and Bello Abbas, who claimed they were customs officers and offered to process some vehicles and deliver them to me.  

“They asked me to pay N650,000 for a Lexus RX 330 but I didn’t make any payment, then another set of individuals, who identified themselves as Uduak Effiong, Khadijat and Garba approached me and offered me to buy a Mercedes Benz E350, 2010 Model sets and another two sets of Toyota Hiace buses for N650,000 each. They sent me account numbers belonging to Mbu Ebhat, Obhasi David, Jacob Okiemute, Kokten Kinben in UBA, First Bank and GTB. I paid a total sum of N4.3 million into those accounts but after making the payments, all the customs officers refused to pick my calls and I reported the matter to the IGP IRT.”  

IRT operatives were deployed to track down the suspects. The operatives trailed a phone number used in defrauding the victim to Ewan community. During their investigation, they discovered that the community is a haven for internet fraudsters and the suspects take advantage of the single road leading into the community to prevent security operatives from arresting fraudsters.  

According to one of the suspects, Saturday, 24-year-old student of Auchi Polytechnic, he was lured into fraud because he had no job.   

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In this article:
Adeniyi Adegboyega
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