A Facebook user identified as Loveday Ugochukwu, has been arrested after he defrauded policemen seeking promotion and peacekeeping programme.
The suspect’s arrest came after he impersonated the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to defraud a contractor, Shuaibu Semion, of N800,000. The 31-year-old man had reportedly collected the money from Semion on the pretext of helping him to renew a contract involving supply of gas to the Nigeria Police Force.
However after the contractor got to know that he has been defrauded after the protocol officer started acting strangely on the phone after receiving the payment in January 2019, he reported the incident to the office of IGP Intelligence Response Team in Abuja and a team of detectives were mobilised to track down the suspect and his alleged accomplice, one Ugochukwu Ohia. He was asked to play along with Ugochukwu, who demanded more money.
The contractor reportedly offered Ugochukwu N30,000, asking the suspect to meet him at the Abuja Central Business District to collect the money.
“Ugochukwu called his accomplice, Ohia, a cab driver, and they went to the agreed location. When they arrived at the location, Ohia called Semion informing him that he was the personal assistant to the IGP’s protocol officer.
“They later sensed danger and attempted to escape in their vehicle but IRT operatives, who had lain in ambush, gave them a chase and apprehended them,” the source added.
Confessing to the crime, the Facebook user who defrauded policemen seeking promotion and peacekeeping programme, said he was introduced to cybercrime by his wife’s friend, one Chima. According to him, he paraded himself as DIG Peace Igbokwe (who is now retired) to swindle money out of policemen, who wanted to participate in peacekeeping missions outside the country.
“I am a gym instructor. I went into Internet fraud because my wife was delivered of our second baby through a caesarean section. We later lost the child. I paid N320,000 hospital bills which made me broke. One of my wife’s friends, Chima, who came to sympathise with us over the death of our child, lured me into Internet fraud. I started by using DIG Peace Igbkwe’s photographs on Facebook and people were coming to look for job through me.
“Policemen also came to seek opportunity to attend peacekeeping missions while others seek promotion. I charge between N70,000 and 60,000 for people seeking peace-keeping mission and N200,000 for people seeking promotion.
“When they start chatting with me, I usually refer them to my protocol officer. I would give them the name of the officer as ACP Luka Abraham with 08098306171, which was my phone number. When the person called and we were done with the negotiation, I would send a bank account with the name Sunday Aduyikodu and account number 2083471724 for payment.”
He further revealed that when Igbokwe retired, he opened another Facebook account with the name and photographs of the acting IGP. He added that he had just defrauded Semion and a policeman with the new account when he was arrested.
“A policeman who wanted to participate in a peacekeeping programme paid N15,000 into my account while Mr Semion, who wanted to renew his gas contract with the police, paid N20,000. I went further to demand additional N30,000 from the man for general processing and the man told me that he had no money but he has a brother who lives in Abuja who can get me the money in cash.
“I told him that I was going to send my orderly to his filling station. I contacted a cab driver and asked him to take me to that location. When I got there, I asked the driver to call the man with his line and the man came to me with an envelope. I asked the driver to receive it. The next thing, a vehicle showed up from nowhere and it wanted to block my way. I sensed danger and asked the driver to zoom off. Our vehicle had an accident at City Gate (Abuja) and we stopped to check it. Some mobile policemen at that place saw us and arrested us. They handed us over to the policemen chasing us.”