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How police arrest 7-man bank fraud syndicate

By Ibe Wada,

No fewer a 7-man fraud syndicate based in Lagos State have been put under detention by the state’s Police Command for their involvement in bank transfers related fraud and other activities.

As gathered, the fraud syndicate led by led by one Osita Nwafor, alias Ossy was arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) after the intelligence it received on their activities.

It was also gathered that the police botched the transfer of N25 million from a locally based bank account and a $220,000 from an international account with the suspects arrest.

According to the police, the 45 years old Nwafor who led the suspects was picked up in the gang’s hideout by the RRS Decoy Team after a technical analysis of the details of the gang and its activities and that his arrest facilitated the arrest of six other members of the gang in different parts of the metropolis.

Other members of the gang arrested by the police include; Nwogu Joseph Chika (36), Anthony Odama (43), Ikechukwu Nkem (32), James Okonkwo (51), Adedio Paulinus (29) and Ogundepo Olufemi (51).

The prompt arrest of the gang first voided a fraudulent transaction of N3 million that had been perfected by the syndicate through a cloned SIM card.

Investigation by the Police revealed that the gang members were recruited by Nwafor sometime in 2019 and they work independently and collectively.

Speaking on their activities, Nwafor said that there was division of labour in the group as everyone’s task was spell out and taken serious for success of each operation.

“Although I brought the team together, each and every member of the group has his own specialization in the group. We sourced for cases and each and every member of the has his own role on each of the cases.

“Once I have done my own part of the deal (sourcing for SIMs and accounts numbers through which the group perpetrates its fraud), I push it to whoever among the member has to play the next role and that is how we treat our cases.

“Apart from this, each member of the gang also has his own splinter group. Whenever they have personal jobs, they also handle on their own,” he added.

The suspects confirmed to investigators that they also work with bank insiders locally and internationally.

“Chike (Nwogu) sourced for foreign and local accounts for money lodgments. I don’t know anything about how he does that, I simply hand over to Chike. He has his connections and they work on percentage.

Once they agree on the percentage, when the money comes, everybody gets his own cuts,” he added.

According to sources, police investigations revealed that the fraudsters scout for obituaries of well to do members of the public, use bank insiders to determine the deceased account balance, clone their SIM cards for online transfer.

It was learnt that one of the bank insiders was arrested in Lagos while another one based in Benin is on the run after suspecting the gang has been busted and that police are on his trail.

Nwafor disclosed that Nwogu was working on the transfer of $220,000 fresh transaction from a foreign bank (bank name, account holder and parties withheld) before he was arrested.

Also, another member of the syndicate, Femi Ogundepo, was working on a fraudulent transaction of N25 million from an old generation bank with an insider connivance (details of the deal withheld).

All the suspects have been transferred to the SARS for further investigations and prosecution.

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