Fraudsters parading themselves as Imo State government officials have conned former Nigerian Olympian, Gloria Alozie and a score of European athletes into parting with their money, in the name of participating in a phantom Imo Marathon.
Alozie who won a 100m hurdles silver for Nigeria at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, disclosed that she was approached by some individuals who claim to represent the Imo State government in Valencia, Spain with the proposal of hosting the Imo Marathon in May 2012.
According to her, after sending them monies running into thousands of Dollars being registration fees for some athletes in Europe and also for other expenses.
It dawn on her that she and the athletes had been defrauded. when she could not hear from the faceless organisers of the phantom Imo Marathon
"These guys came to me in Spain and told me that there is a marathon coming up in Owerri. I cross checked with people in Imo and they did confirm that there was indeed a marathon coming up.
However, a few days to the 'race' Alozie was sent a letter informing her that the event had been postponed till July 20 and when July 20 came, there was no indication that there was any race coming up.
"I requested they return the 100 dollars per athlete registration fee. But it became clear to me that we have been cleaned out.
"Initially, the athletes were disturbing me for a refund. But I made it plain to them that I had been a victim of '419' and thankfully they understood," said Alozie