BY EVELYN USMAN
LAGOS — Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, have foiled an attempt by a syndicate to swindle a serving senior military officer of N300 million in Lagos.
Also, they were said to have arrested three suspected members of the syndicate which specialized in printing fake foreign currencies, selling same at cheaper rates to gullible members of the public.
Recovered from them were machines used to print the fake notes, fake certificate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and a box containing fake $2.5 million in 1000 dollar bills.
One of them, said to have impersonated a staff of the CBN, was found in possession of a CBN identity card bearing the name of a genuine CBN staff.
The suspects were reportedly arrested, weekend, following attempt to sell $2.5 million, estimated at N400 million to a serving senior military officer for N300 million.
Suspecting they could be fraudsters, the senior officer reportedly booked for a meeting with them at the Women Development Centre, Agege, from where they were apprehended by operatives.
Sources told Vanguard: “On the said day, they went with a marked steel box on which was inscribed ‘Vol: $2.5 million, Grade A’ and the name of the serving senior military officer as the consignee.
In their bid to make it look real, they attached a forged CBN certificate with one of them, later discovered to be Abiodun Akiniyi, displaying an identity card bearing the name: Mr. Tunde Bakare, No.011, a CBN official,” sources said.
In their confessional statement, the suspects identified as Olasende Akinsiku, Abiodun Akiniyi and Tajudeen Lasisi, reportedly disclosed that they posed as CBN staff to deceive their victims .
“We simply told our victims that the foreign currencies were stolen from the office and that we wanted to change them to naira. That way, most of them would be willing to buy at cheaper rates. We sell a dollar for as low as N120 and at times N100, depending on the demand. Biodun owns the machine with which we print the fake dollars,”Olasende said.
Asked how they came across the CBN certificate, Olasende, who claimed to be a graphic artist, said it was downloaded from the internet.
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