Five criminals parading themselves as officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been apprehended in Delta State.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in the state, HausaToday reports.
The individuals are reported to have been sacking people’s homes and carting away their valuables, including money, under the pretext to be officials of the crime commission.
Confirming their arrest in a statement on Friday, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Edafe Bright, said the suspects met their waterloo following a series of complaints received from members of the public, especially from youths.
The fake EFCC operatives, according to residents, usually break into their houses at night, forcefully arrest them, take them away and extort a huge sum of money from them.
However, upon the receipt of the intelligence, the police force perceived that the individuals are not real and immediately swung into action to get them arrested.
Bright said during a press briefing on Friday that “On 16th November 2022, the Command received another complaint from a victim (name withheld) whose house was stormed at night by the syndicate, they gained entrance into the compound by scaling the fence, broke into his apartment, forcefully abducted and took him away in a white Toyota Hiace bus.
“The victim further stated that on getting to Head Bridge (i.e. the boundary between Delta and Anambra State), they forcefully collected his phones from him, other valuables worth three million, seven hundred thousand naira (N3,700,000), forced him to make a cash transfer of two million, five hundred thousand naira (N2,500,000) and told him that they will come for him again. Five other victims also reported to the Command and made statements of how they were robbed of about fifteen million naira (N15,000,000).”
The Commissioner of Police Ari Muhammed Ali who was informed of the development directed the Command Decoy Squad to investigate and ensure that the culprits are arrested.
“Subsequently, on 23 November 2022, the Commander, CP-Decoy, ASP Julius Robinson, acting on credible information led operatives on a sting operation and trailed the suspects to their hideout in a hotel (name withheld) located in Asaba where they hibernated to plan their next operation,” Bright noted.
He revealed the identity of the suspects to include Prince Allison, 29, the leader of the gang who claimed to be EFCC contract staff in Portharcourt, George Chisom Onyeweagu, 29, an Owerri resident who operated the POS used to withdraw money from victim’s account forcefully, Duke Okoro, 40, resident in Asaba, Delta State, Joseph Osinachi, 23, a resident of Lagos State and Onyocha Stanley, 32, who lived in Owerri.
HausaToday understands that the suspects have admitted to having robbed different victims from various parts of the State.
They also stated that they lodged some of their victims in a hotel for days until they succeeded in extorting huge sums of money from them, mostly via transfer of money from them into their mobile POS.
Items recovered from the suspects include a white Hummer bus, two locally manufactured EFCC jackets, a POS machine and eight mobile phones.
Six of their victims are said to have also identified them as the syndicate that broke into their houses under the guise of being EFCC operatives. According to the PPRO, an investigation is still ongoing, and the suspects will be charged in court soon.