Monday, July 4, 2016

Police arrest suspected serial facebook scammer

The State Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (SIIB) of the Lagos State Police Command has arrested a serial Facebook scammer, one Peter Ajani, for using the name of former Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide, a Superintendent of Police, to defraud people.

It would be recalled that similar cases happened in 2013, when Braide was the command’s image-maker, where about seven fake Facebook accounts were opened in her name and used to defraud innocent citizens.


Already, a check as at last Friday revealed that 22 fake Facebook accounts had been opened with her name and with different introductions. The fraudulent accounts have since been yielding money for the perpetrators, who demand monetary gifts from their unsuspecting victims.


In this present case, the 29-year-old suspect, who hails from Yemetu Ataadorin, in Egbeda local council of Oyo State, was said to have successfully defrauded several people of thousands of Naira before his arrest.
The suspect was said to have been operating several accounts in Braide’s name, even though she does not operate any social media account. Ajani was arrested after he defrauded a teacher (name withheld) with the Benue State government of the sum of N80,000. The teacher was said to have made contact with one of the dubious accounts and was told to bring money to influence his appointment in the ongoing police recruitment exercise.

The victim said he did not doubt the authenticity of the claim because there was a registered number that could be called with Ngozi Braide’s identity.
According to him, he had used Truecaller, a mobile application that reveals the identity of a caller) to check out the number and it showed that it purportedly belonged to Braide.

However, when an account number was sent, it bore a Yoruba woman’s name. But again, he said that didn’t arouse his suspicion as he thought it was used as a front. It was only until they demanded for extra N60,000 that he relented and reported the incident as a likely fraud case.

Using the number he was given, the SIIB was able to track the suspect to Ibadan, where he was arrested. In his confession, Ajani, who lives at No. 52 Maku, Ebenezeri Iyana Church, Ibadan, said he was formerly working at C. Gate Hotel Ibadan before he was sacked.

While pleading for mercy, he claimed that he was only able to make money from two people, although there were still other potential victims. However, police sources, who spoke on anonymity, told newsmen that the suspect had defrauded several people using either the police recruitment and fake auction of cars.

They have been able to track down another victim from Akwa Ibom, who paid N350,000 for an auctioned car but later discovered he was defrauded.When contacted, Braide, who declined to speak in order not to jeopardise ongoing investigations, however, stressed she was not on any social media platform.

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