Maritime Police drags fake Customs agent to court for allegedly duping customer of N17.2m

Tinubu magistrates’ court

The Tinubu Magistrates' Court, Lagos Island

By Paul Iyoghojie

Operatives of the Maritime Police Command, Force Headquarters, Lagos of the Nigeria Police have arrested a suspected fake Customs agent, Boniface Chimezie, 40, and dragged him before a Lagos Magistrate’s court for allegedly obtaining the sum of N17,250,000 from two complainants, Raimi Oliya and Emmanuel Umeh by false pretence.

Police alleged that the defendant falsely represented himself as a Customs agent to the complainants, a claim he knew to be false and collected the money from them with the promise to supply them 15 export containers valued at N17,250,000 but that the defendant failed to supply the containers to the complainants and instead converted the money to his personal use and took flight.

Police further alleged that following the development, the complainants petitioned the Inspector General of Police about the matter leading to the defendant’s arrest at a hideout in Lagos through tracking.

Chimezie was charged before the Tinubu Magistrate’s Court, Lagos Island on three count charges bordering on forgery, obtaining money by false pretence and stealing.

Police Counsel, Ben Ekundayo told the Court in the charge marked R/21/2024 that the defendant committed the offence on 12 April 2024 at Apapa, Lagos

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Ekundayo informed the court that the defendant forged Customs and Exercise allocations documents for direct auction sales of 18 export containers and used the documents to deceive the complainants that he was a Customs agent and that he had 15 export containers to sell for them for the sum of N17,250,000.

He said that the complainants believed him and gave him the money to supply the containers but the defendant failed to supply the containers and instead converted the money to his personal use and took flight before he was arrested through intelligence gathering and tracking.

Ekundayo said the offences the defendant committed are punishable under Sections 411, 314 (3) and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and Magistrate, Mrs A.A Awoyinka granted him N5m bail with two sureties in like sum.

Awoyinka directed that the sureties must deposit the sum of N5m each in the account of the registrar of the Lagos State High Court and adjourned the case till 4 June 2024 for mention and ordered that the defendant be detained at the Ikoyi correctional facility till he perfected the bail conditions

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