…fleece victim N3.1M
Three suspected internet fraudsters that allegedly impersonated music maestro, King Sunny Ade and fleeced unsuspecting members of the public of over N3m.1m have been arrested by the Police in Lagos.
The suspects: Lawrence Femi, 27, his girlfriend, Rebecca Oyebode, 23 and Oyewumi Abiodun, 27 were arrested by detectives attached to the Special Intelligence Bureau, SIB, after King Sunny Ade made an official complain to the Commissioner of Police that some persons were using his identity to defraud innocent Nigerians.
It was learned that the suspects created a King Sunny Ade fan page on Istagram which they used to make fake advert placement titled KSA USA TOUR. They requested interested persons to contract them.
Newsbeats learned that based on that, some people started paying money to them and over fifty five persons have paid money to these fraudsters. Police sources said that they were offering people USA visa with a guarantee visa and the unsuspecting members of the public paid various sums of money into a given account with a second generation bank.
According to sources, they gave their victims different prices. “Lawrence Femi, the main suspect who lives in Oshogbo, Osun State used the name of his friend, Oyewunmi Abiodun to open the account in Oyo state. Femi’s girlfriend, Rebecca was controlling the inflow of cash into the account and running other sundry errand.
“Their arrest was carried out with the tracking of the bank account and detectives were able to get the girl whose name was used to open the account and then she explained that it was her boyfriend that opened the account with her name and that he was with the ATM card. She led detectives to the suspect in Oyo state and they were all rounded up.
It was gathered that N91, 000 was paid into the account paid by a victim last week and once money was paid into the account, the suspects will make immediate withdrawal. Sources said that at the last count, about N3.111, 175 have been paid into the account by different people since the account was opened.
The victim, King Sunny Ade, told Newsbeats at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja when he visited to thank police for a job well done that he knew about the scam when people started calling his phone number to say that they have paid the money into his account. “They will say they are this and they paid for visa. When it was getting too much for me, I had to invite the police to trace those behind the impersonation, using my identity to commit fraud so that my name would be cleared and people would know that I am not the person defrauding people. And I have never done anything like that in the history of my life and career. I am a law abiding citizen of this country. So, I had to call the police to come and help me.”
On how he felt when he heard that his name was being used to commit fraud, he stated: “It was like someone loading a gun in your presence and corking it. I advise the police to help me recover all the money gotten from all the victims that have to do with my name and refund it back to them first. Then, the police know what to do with the matter. This is what I have been saying for a long time now; the youth should not be too much ambitious in getting things that doesn’t belong to them.
“Again, they need to have the fear of God in their heart and the fear of the nation and the law. Eventually when you are doing things that are wrong, you will have to pay for it. And for someone who has been doing business legitimately and you take advantage of their image to fleece victims of their hard earned money. This is not a matter of album; it is going to be more than album. It is not only youths alone, we have to work with family system by way of educating them that they shouldn’t allow their kids to act like they like. I plead with the Federal, State and Local government agency to join hands and put an end to this menace. So far, I am satisfied with the police investigation at this point.”
The main suspect, 27-year-old Oyedokun Lawrence Femi said: “I was arrested because I impersonated King Sunny Ade. I did that by creating a fan page with his name and pictures sometime last year. Early this year, I posted something on Instagram about KSA USA TOUR. I just posted it to make money. I asked that those interested in going to a tour with King Sunny Ade to the USA should contact me. I did it because I am the breadwinner of my family. We are five in the family and there is no one to sponsor me to school. My father is a typist in Oshogbo while my mother is a trader. I dropped out of Osun State College of Education Ilesha when I was in 200 level, then I was studying political science. After I dropped out of school, I started blogging. I have a website named “hip pop gist”.
“My first in take was N65, 000, I can’t recollect, I talked to my friend Oyewunmi Abiodun. I lied to him that someone wants to send money to me and he should help me accept it because my United Bank of Africa account has an issue. We’ve been friends since a year ago. So, I just messaged him that I want to receive some money which is N65000. After the money was paid into his FCMB account, my girlfriend came back from school and I asked him to send the money to her account. And that’s how I have been doing since the first payment.”
Recounting how she got involved in the fraud, Oyebode Rebecca said I started dating Oyedokun dating during our NCE days at Osun state college of Education Ilesha. I came home for December break . He told me his account was having issues and that I should give him one of my account since I own two( a diamond and United Bank of Africa( UBA). He asked me to give him my UBA account which i did with my ATM Card. And I do inform him each time I received an alert.
Sometimes I do get about N29000 and above. the highest amount was N90000 and the sum total according to the statement of account which was requested for during my arrest was about N1.5m. He never told me he was using my account to defraud people.
I didn’t question him when I was seeing the alerts because, I know him to be a blogger and he also does adverts. Moreso the money was coming through his friend’s account so I thought they were into a business together. Right now I am embarrassed because I know nothing about the case and I have been detained for the past 25 days trying to prove my innocence.
I have regrets that my boyfriend is a fraudster but I didn’t know he was into such act. My parents have been coming to request for my bail because I am supposed to be in school and this got them bothered. I am studying History and educational studies.