The Lagos State Police Command has arrested three suspected fraudsters who allegedly specialised in withdrawing money from people’s bank accounts.
Our correspondent learnt that the suspects ─ Kola Osho, Oyedepo Adesola and Kola Ademola ─ were apprehended by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the Pipeline area, Abule-Egba, Lagos.
It was gathered that the suspects were apprehended after a tip-off had reached the police that some fraudsters were lurking at the location.
Our correspondent further learnt that while Adesola and Ademola were arrested on Wednesday, July 23, Osho was arrested the following day.
The items recovered from the suspected fraudsters included two dud cheques belonging to a commercial bank, and some forged letter-head documents bearing ‘Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.’
According to the police, the suspects usually obtained the cheques through their errand boys, who were experts in stealing cheque books from unsuspecting people.
The police further revealed that to perpetrate their dubious acts, the suspects had insiders in commercial banks. They would allegedly present the cheque to their insider, whose job was to verify the account holder and the signature before the money could be paid out.
Ademola, 33, who hails from Ikire, Osun State, said he had taken cheques to Osho for processing on three occasions. Ademola, who claimed to be a graduate of Business Administration, however added that they had yet to make any money from the deals.
He said, “I am an Educational Consultant. That is what I do for a living. I also enroll pupils for final-year examination. Last year, I met one boy called Samson who stayed in Obalende, and he was the one who got the cheques and brought them to me.
“I don’t know how he got them, but they were original cheques. We delivered these to the banks insiders who worked on them, and brought out the cash. But because of the present cashless policy, we can only withdraw less than N100,000 which would not require the confirmation from the signatories.
“This is the third cheque I would be bringing to Mr. Osho, but he said he does not have any insider in that particular bank. On the first cheque, he said the account did not contain much money. The second cheque too was not successful. So, we have not made any money from these deals. It is just unfortunate.”
Fifty seven-year-old Osho who hails from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, said the desire to leave the country for greener pasture had pushed him into bank fraud.
He said, “I was formerly doing supplying and clearing business. I wanted to use the documents the police found on me to process a visa to the United Kingdom. I got the forged documents from the Internet.
“Ademola gave the cheques to me and I returned them because I could not cash them. He is like a son to me as I am his father’s friend. So, I sent back all the businesses he brought, because I did not want any trouble. I used to have insiders in the banks, but I have cut off from them all. I knew I cheated when I got the forged documents to process my visa, but I did not have any option. It also did not work out.”
The third suspect, Adesola, aged 36, who hails from Ibadan, Oyo State, claimed he had simply come to visit Osho in the office when the police arrested him, adding that he was not a member of the gang.
He said, “I hold a Higher National Diploma from a polytechnic in Oyo State. I studied Accounting and finished in 2007. I do not know what the police are talking about. I simply came to Osho to transact a business, and they got me arrested. I am innocent.”