Delta State police have arrested five men for allegedly impersonating EFCC operatives in order to defraud members of the public.
According to the Delta State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Edafe Bright, in a press release, the police reacted in response to a series of complaints received from members of the public, particularly youths, alleging that EFCC operatives usually break into their homes at night, forcefully arrest them, take them away, and extort a large sum of money from them.
The police immediately swung into action and intelligence gathered revealed that they may not be EFCC operatives as it was alleged.
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).
According to the police, it became clear that it was the activities of hoodlums pretending to be EFCC Operatives.
Consequently, Commissioner of Police Ari Muhammed Ali directed the Command Decoy Squad to investigate and ensure that the culprits are caught.
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.
Five suspects arrested 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 forcefully withdraw money from victim’s account, Duke Okoro, 40, resident in Asaba, Delta State, Joseph Osinachi, 23, a resident of Lagos State and Onyocha Stanley, 32, who lived in Owerri.
The suspects 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.
A white Hummer bus, two locally manufactured EFCC jackets, a POS machine and eight mobile phones were recovered from them. Six of their victims have identified them as the syndicate that broke into their houses under the guise of being EFCC operatives.
According to the PPRO, investigation is still ongoing and the suspects would be charged to court soon.