Lagos — A 47-year-old man, Abiodun Adebusoye, who the Lagos State Police Command has been questioning over fraud allegations, has told his interrogators he had been exploiting his victims' greed for quick, cheap money to fleece them.
The police said they had been able to trace four other suspected members of the fraud syndicate through Adebusoye's confessional statement.
The other four suspects were identified as Olasupo Olasehinde, 52; Abayomi Omoleye, 51; Tunde Olaore, 56; and Folajimi Akinnawo, 45.
The police said the syndicate had its headquarters at the White Sand area of Ijora Badia, Lagos.
Adebusoye was said to have confessed he belonged to the five-man syndicate of fraudsters whose modus operandi was to pretend as cab drivers to dupe their unsuspecting passengers.
The police said the suspect confessed in his statement, "My own job is to mount guard outside our office if we have any victim to work on.
Olasupo Olasehinde is the gang driver. He goes out in company of Abayomi Omoleye and Folajimi Akinnawo, searching for victims.
"The trick is that Abayomi will start a discussion of a bag containing a huge sum of money that he stole from the house of his rich boss who had died. He will then ask Folajimi to advise him on what to do with the bagful of money. Folajimi will in turn advise that they take the money to a known spiritualist who will remove any spell on it before sharing.
"All these discussions go on to arouse the interest of the victim who had boarded the vehicle innocently as a passenger without knowing that he or she is about being scammed. It is at the home of the spiritualist that we will finally work on the greed of the victim."
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said detectives from the Area B Command, Apapa, busted the syndicate.
Odumosu said that on June 12, 2020, one Mariam Balogun of Kano Street, Ebute Meta, in the Lagos metropolis, complained at the Area B Command, Apapa, that, she boarded a vehicle at Costain heading to Orile bus stop, with three men already in the vehicle.
He said the complainant alleged that on getting to the Eric Moore bridge, one of the passengers said he wanted to alight. The police boss added, "she alleged that the passenger started a discussion that he has a bag containing huge amounts of money but charms were placed on top of the money. She narrated that the passenger said he needed a herbalist or pastor to pray for the money.
"But, according to her, the vehicle suddenly diverted to the White Sand area, Railway Lane, Ijora, Badia, where she was scammed of the sum of N150,000. An oath was administered on her against her will with a water in a calabash taken by all the passengers.
"Five suspects were arrested and two more victims, Balikis Fasasi and Taiwo Salami, both women, were rescued. One old briefcase containing counterfeit United States dollars arranged in bundles of cut-to-size paper with fake dollars on top and beneath each bundle, and charms were recovered. Three vehicles used to perpetrate the crime were recovered. They are a Toyota Camry with registration number AGI 916 FU, a red Volkswagen Golf with registration number JJJ 890 DD and a white, old model Toyota Camry with registration number MUS 925 FQ."