By Odita Sunday
Operatives from the Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday went on a manhunt for suspected internet fraudsters and arrested 32 persons. Aged between 15 and 39, the suspects were arrested at Liberty Estate, Laderin area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, during an early morning sting operation carried out by men of the commission.
Apparently on a tip-off, the officials raided the hideouts of the suspects, who were taken by surprise when the EFCC operatives swooped in on them at one of their havens. Fourteen of them claimed to be undergraduates, while 18 others said they were self-employed in various vocations.
The arrest was sequel to a petition detailing their alleged fraudulent activities, including internet fraud through which they reportedly obtained money from unsuspecting victims. Items recovered from them include six exotic cars, laptops, mobile phones, several documents containing false pretences and fetish objects.
According to the commission’s spokesperson, Tony Orilade, the suspects are already “helping operatives with useful information. They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he added.
Meanwhile in Lagos, Wednesday was the third consecutive day of terror by fraudsters at Shittu Street junction of Morgan Street, Idi-Araba, a predominant Arewa community between Mushin and Surulere. At about 6:30p.m., women and students on holiday rained curses and shouts of “thief, thief” on a bunch of fraudsters who dispossessed two young men of their money and valuables at Shittu junction.
Shittu junction has lately become the abode of fraudsters. They have been terrorizing visitors and residents of the community since a recently graduated medical doctor was knifed to death by one of them at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). They had been on the run since then and have taken up a temporary abode at the mechanic shed there.
According to residents, police usually patrol in the area but the fraudsters always seem to know when the police would be visiting and they then go into hiding.