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Police foil multi-million Naira fraud, arrest seven suspects

Joy Anyim

Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a seven-man gang of fraudsters, who scout for obituaries of well to do members of the public, use bank insiders to determine their account balance, and clone their SIM cards for online transfer of the monies.

It was gathered that the operatives had upon the arrest of the suspects, botched the transfer of N25 million from a local bank account and $220,000 from an international account.

Information has it that their arrest followed intelligence received by a decoy team of the squad, on the activities of the suspects led by one Osita Nwafor, alias Ossy.

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Nwafor, 45, was picked up at the gang’s hideout, after a technical analysis of the details of the gang and its activities. His arrest facilitated the arrest of six other members of the gang in different parts of the metropolis.

Other members of the gang arrested by the police include; Nwogu Joseph Chika , 36, Anthony Odama, 43, Ikechukwu Nkem, 32, James Okonkwo, 51, Adedio Paulinus, 29, and Ogundepo Olufemi, 51.

The prompt arrest of the gang first voided a fraudulent transaction of N3 million that had been perfected by the syndicate through a cloned SIM card.

Police investigation revealed that the gang members were recruited by Nwafor sometime in 2019 and they work independently, but  collectively.

According to Nwafor, “Although I brought the team together, each and every member of the group has his own specialization in the group. We sourced for cases and each and every member of the gang has his own role.

“Once I have done my own part of the deal, which is sourcing for SIMs and accounts numbers through which the group perpetrates its fraud, I push it to whoever among the member has to play the next role and that is how we treat our cases”.

“Apart from this, each member of the gang also has his own splinter group. Whenever they have personal jobs, they also handle on their own. ”

The suspects confirmed to investigators that they also work with bank insiders locally and internationally.

Nwafor added that, “Chika sourced for foreign and local accounts for money lodgments.

“I don’t know anything about how he does that, I simply hand over to Chika. He has his connections and they work on percentage.

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“Once they agree on the percentage, when the money comes, everybody gets his own cuts.”

It was learnt that one of the bank insiders was arrested in Lagos, while another based in Benin is on the run after suspecting the gang had been busted and that police are on his trail.

Nwafor disclosed that Chika was working on the transfer of $220,000 fresh transaction from a foreign bank (bank name, account holder and parties withheld) before he was arrested.

Another member of the syndicate, Ogundepo was also working on a fraudulent transaction of N25 million from an old generation bank with an insider connivance (details of the deal withheld).

Okonkwo, a close ally of Nwafor, had before his arrests, allegedly cornered N8 million fraud proceed, an action that caused serious dispute between Nwafor and Okonkwo, who just came back from the village.

All the suspects have been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), of the Command for further investigations and prosecution.