23rd August, 2010
Two suspected fraudsters are currently cooling their heels at the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police, Lagos, after they were arrested separately for different offences.
One of the suspect, Moses Taiwo Olalekan, was said to be a specialist in forging certificate of occupancy (C of O) for fraudulent sale of lands.
He was said to have succeeded in duping his victims of N15 million before he was caught.
The police described Olalekan as a hardened criminal, saying he had featured in several cases being handled by the Unit.
For example, the law enforcement agency said, in one of the cases where he featured as Barrister Olatunji, in January 2009, he and his co-conspirators, still at large, duped their victim of the sum of N20 million for the sale of a property at Magodo GRA, Lagos.
â€œThis money was collected at Ibadan where a signing ceremony took place and afterwards they went into hiding.
â€œWhen arrested, he was confronted with the allegation and he confessed to the offence but denied being the leader of the syndicate,â€ the SFU stated, adding that the suspect claimed he was only given N100,000.
The suspect, it was learnt, confessed further that he and his accomplices normally get the photocopies of the C of O from Idowu Salami, a former staff of the Alausa Land Registry.
The police also accused him of obtaining N41 million, two unregistered Mack trucks and a Toyota Camry car through fraud.
The other suspect, Dewale Bodurin, a former manager of the Port Harcourt branch of a defunct stock broking firm, was accused of selling his clientsâ€™ shares running into millions of naira.
Trouble began for him when one of his former clients (name withheld) discovered that his shares worth N1,288,706. 23 had been sold without his authorisation.
He was said to have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission which traced the sale to an existing brokerage house.
Investigation by the Police revealed that the suspect decided to sell the shares by first transferring them to the existing firm and opening accounts in the name of the stock holder when his firm folded up in 2008.
â€œHe then sent e-mail to the trading house to sell the shares and the money was paid to an account he opened for the purpose,â€ the police said, adding that he sold the stock to Robert Kereni whose whereabouts are currently unknown to the tune of N521,121. 34.
The SFU also announced the arrest of Victor Bassey and Stella Ogbonna for forging the C of O of a property in Lekki, an international passport and PHCN bill of the owner of the property to defraud their victim (name withheld) of N25 million.
While advising members of the public to be vigilant when buying a property, the Commissioner of Police, SFU, Saba Ndagi, said the Police will not shield any official of the Lands Registry found collaborating with fraudsters.