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Environment ministry official held over fraud, impersonation

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested one Tariah Otumba Fred, a member of staff of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Bayelsa…

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested one Tariah Otumba Fred, a member of staff of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Bayelsa State over allegations of fraud and impersonation.
A statement from EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, yesterday said Fred was alleged to have been involved in forgery, extortion, obtaining money under false pretence, impersonation and other fraudulent activities.
Uwujaren said: “Fred is said to head a notorious syndicate which defrauded unsuspecting members of the public and corporate organizations using the office of the Federal Controller of Environment in Yenagoa.”
He said Fred was alleged to have opened an account in Sterling Bank using the name of the Controller, Federal Ministry of Environment in Bayelsa State for which he was a signatory, alongside one Mr. Education Zghadina who had also been arrested by the commission.
“Fred’s modus operandi was to give companies in the state notice that they should make payment to the Federal Ministry of Environment for environmental impact assessment permit. The suspect also presented himself as the pollution coordinator of the ministry, a position that does not exist, and employed officers whom he issued identity cards as revenue collecting agents for the ministry,” Uwujaren added.
He also said when a search was conducted in his house, several incriminating items including fake identity cards of various organizations, stamps of different organizations, letter heads of the National Inland Waterways and Ministry of Environment and an identity card with his picture as a Navy Captain were recovered.
Uwujaren said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation was completed.
 

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