How Police RRS busted online phone thieves posing as jiji.com sales reps in Lagos.

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By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos/

OPERATIVES of DCP Tunji Disu-led Lagos Security outfit, the Rapid Response Squad RRS have punctured a syndicate who hide under the guise of sales representatives of a popular online marketing platform, jiji.com to defraud unsuspecting customers of their money. Sources said 2 suspects, Messrs Chukwu – Emeka Ogbona and Olabode Kehinde were tracked and arrested somewhere close to Computer village, venue of their nefarious business transaction following a tip off. a statgment obtained at the Alausa, Ikeja Head of the security outfit which gave blow by blow account of who the suspects conned their unsuspecting customers said the duo and others at large were in the habit of advertising expensive phone on the platform cheaper adding that when their prey arrives the destination they might have given him, the suspects would produce a semblance of the original phones advertised on the jiji.com platform and disappear into thin air just before the buyer would come to terms with their antics.  But the contains dropped on two of them Wednesday after “Chukwu – Emeka Ogbona, 45 and Olabode Kehinde, 34, both mobile phone technicians at the Computer Village, Ikeja were arrested at Olowu Street, Ikeja in separate incidents. The duo, who are members of same syndicate advertised iphone X, a phone valued at N240,000 for N155,000 to lure buyers into their nets. The suspects, along with other gang members lure the buyers to locations around Olowu Street and Computer Village,  Ikeja, where they fraudulently collect money from the buyers after showing them the real phone but within a twinkle of an eye substitute it with fake iphone X. The suspects thereafter flee the scene leaving their victims stranded. The suspects also disclosed that apart from advertising on jiji.com, they also fraudulently sell fake mobile phones on the streets of Computer Village to unsuspecting buyers as well as return fake or paper money to their victims after collecting the real money from them.

According to one of the suspects, Chukwu Emeka Ogbona, the leader of the gang is “Ibrahim. He advertised on jiji.com and supply us with the real Iphone X and the fake Iphone X. The real Iphone X is N240,000 while the fake is an android phone made to look like an Iphone X. It is N30,000. The Iphone X was advertised for N155,000. The buyer negotiated for N120,000. Knowing what I want to sell to him, I encouraged him to meet me at Olowu after changing meeting locations twice to ensure that we were not being baited by the police. I showed him the real iphone X for him to confirm it while the fake was in my back pocket. I took the real back from him again for us to settle our bargain. Meanwhile, I had arranged with other gang members to come around and distract the attention of the buyer so as to create room for me to swap the real iphone X with the fake version. This I did and we shared the victim’s N120,000. Unknown to me the police baited and arrested me the third day of the fraud”.

*The recovered handsets from the suspects…

Continuing, the statement quoting the suspect as saying, “Times are hard. I stopped doing it before. I need money to feed my family. That is why I came back into it. We are many doing it. We call it street hustling. I won’t go back to it if released”; adding “The second suspect, Olabode Kehinde was arrested by the Decoy Team of RRS for collecting N100,000 and an iphone 6S from one Obinna, who he lured to Computer Village after agreeing to swap them for an iphone X but ended up fraudulently giving him a fake iphone X. He also confessed to be a member of the same syndicate. He added that they are many on the streets of Computer Village.”

Reacting, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu advised Lagosians to be wary of suspected fraudsters masquerading as phone dealers with a view to exploiting them of their hard earned money, adding that they should ensure they obtain receipt with traceable addresses for mobile phones they are buying. He thereof, warned members of the public to desist from buying fairly used phones with unknown sources especially, those that were not receipted

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