A 28-year-old suspected fraudster, Ifeanyi Ikechukwu, who the police in Ogun State arrested for allegedly swindling some members of the public, has said that his role in a fraud gang he belonged to was to scout for victims.
The police disclosed yesterday that they arrested Ikechukwu last Friday along with another member of the gang they identified as Chika Kosarachi.
The suspect confessed, “My role in the gang is as a catcher. We go out in groups of twos to look for victims. As catchers, when we go out, one of us will pretend to be a foreigner who is in Nigeria to see his friend.
“He will pretend to be worrying over his inability to locate his friend. His role is to arouse the sympathy of his would-be victim to his plight.
“While this is on, another member of the gang who has been hanging around in the background will appear. This is where I come in as one of the catchers. My role is to pretend as if I have met him in the past. I will narrate how he assisted me with money in dollars.
“All this is to exploit the gullible nature of the victim. In the end, the victim is taken to a house where fake dollars will be shown to him or her. Later a fake pastor, who will complete the job, will engage the victim in a discussion.
“The victim will be asked to make a voluntary donation of an amount that would be used for the purchase of items for the cleansing of the fake dollars before it would be shared.”
One of the victims, Chidiebere, who lamented he walked into the suspects’ trap, said they defrauded him of the sum of N148,000, which they allegedly assured him they would convert into dollars, but which turned to be false.
Chidiebere thereafter lodged a complaint at the Sango police station, Ogun State.
Our correspondent gathered that upon the report, the Divisional Police Officer of the Sango Police Division, Chief Superintendent Godwin Idehai, led his men to the suspects’ hideout, where Ikechukwu and Kosarachi were apprehended.
The suspects’ hideout was understood to be located at Koleosho Street, Anisere, Sango-Ota, Ogun State.
The police said they recovered a large amount of fake dollar notes, charms and chemicals from the suspects.
The Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Edward A. Ajogun, who confirmed the arrest yesterday on phone, said he had ordered a manhunt for the arrest of the other members of the syndicate.
Ajogun said the suspects would be charged to court after the conclusion of investigations.