The Nigerian Police have smashed a five-man syndicate that specializes in forging COVID-19 certificate at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos. A combined operation of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) attached to the Airport Police Command with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) Aviation Security (AVSEC) arrested the syndicate.
Speaking to journalists on the arrests, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Airport Police Command, Bature Umar, on Thursday, gave the names of the suspects to include: Archibong Idorenyin,Shehu Imam ,who is at large, Popoola Adewale, who works with Patoviki Airport Cleaning Services, Adeola Darlington of Skyblue Services Limited, who is also at large.
The CP said the arrest started when Popoola Adewale and Adeola Darlington ,who all have access to the airport premises approached one Michael Osagbogun who was on a queue to board a London bound British Airways aircraft under the pretext of helping him to procure COVID-19 certificate if he was in need.
The CP explained that the two suspects took Michael to an isolated toilet where the sum of N50,000 was allegedly collected from him.
The victim, CP Umar said, was thereafter handed over to Shehu Imam,who took him to the owner of the cyber cafe at Oriyomi Street , Ikeja, where he was issued a fake COVID–19 certificate.
On whether the Police were able to arrest all the suspects, Umar said that some of them are on the run and that frantic efforts are being made to track them down.
He informed that the suspects on interrogation have confessed to the crime and that the sum of N2,000 cash, laptop and fake COVID–19 certificates were recovered from them as exhibits.
Umar said that the suspects will be charged to court.