A 65-year-old member of a five man gang, Emmanuel Fabiyi, who specialised in property scam, has revealed that he, alongside members of his gang have successfully scammed different people within and outside Lagos.
According to Emmanuel Fabiyi, who was arrested with his accomplices by Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), revealed that “My age has been so instrumental in the succesd of various scams we have perpetrated. Unsuspecting victims get convinced that a man of my age wouldn’t be a scammer. This makes them want to do business with us and part with their hard earned money for land purchases, rent or lease of properties”.
“In one of our recent scams, the police made us to repay N3.2 million. We have been involved in many successful property scams both in Lagos and Ogun State”.
While pleading never to return to business if allowed to go, Fabiyi stated that “My family had warned me not to get involved in any fraudulent deals again.” Lamenting, he said “I am a disgrace to my wife and children as a father.” Am a shame to my family as an elder in church and a grandpa. My children warned me to desist from fraud after I was arrested last year but I didn’t listen to them”, he stated.
He added that the N4.5 million was to be shared in the following manner; “the account owner collects 30%, Hakeem, the bringer of the deal collects 30%, Abolade 10%, Ayo, 10%, Baba, 20% and then we share 5% with Sunday Ayodele.
It was learned that the five man gang on Wednesday, met their waterloo at the point of exchange (money and keys) when they were about to fraudulently lease out someone else’s duplex in Lekki Phase 2, to a house seeker for a sum of N4.5 million.
The gang, which consists of Abolade Oladimeji (43), Ademola Ayo (45), Emmanuel Fabiyi (65), Ademola Hakeem (49) and Sunday Ayodele 52-years, were arrested in Lekki Phase 2, after almost sealing the deal for the leasing of someone else’s duplex, to a victim.
The suspects all of whom are real estate agents living in border towns of Lagos and Ogun had pretended to be agent of the duplex. To expand their dragnet, the suspects had advertised the property on jiji.com with a total lease package for a year put at N4.5 million.
According to the leader of the gang, Ademola Hakeem, he had been using his knowledge of computer to advertise for sale and lease on various websites, non-existing landed property, apartments and buildings. He added that they lure unsuspecting publics with attractive prices.
In his confessional statement to the police, Hakeem disclosed that in early September, he posted a vacancy of a 4-bedroom duplex in Lekki Phase 2 which attracted so many people including the victim.
“Immediately the victim called me through the contact on the advertisement, I knew he was genuine. I mobilized my colleagues and allocated roles to each of them to make the deal seamless. Abolade Oladimeji conducted himself as the estate lawyer. He discussed at length with our client on the legal angle as well as visitation before payment”, he stated.
Ademola Ayo was in charge of taking client on house or land inspection. Emmanuel Fabiyi, the eldest among us played the role of a principal agent and sometimes acted as site engineer while Sunday Ayodele assisted Fabiyi to make him look like a big man who is well groomed and seasoned in the business”, he explained.
“After the inspection, the victim requested to pay us with a cheque. Initially, we rejected as our mode of payment is through bank transfer. This is to avoid too much contact as we have dedicated account owners who connive with various teams of fraud syndicates that receive deposits into their accounts and collect 30% of the proceed. After much deliberation on the mode of payment, we agreed to collect the cheque.”
It was gathered that the victim was trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of the lease when along the line he suspected something fishy. He did a little research which took him to the real landlord of the estate. Together, they played along with the fraudsters while a police team was briefed on the development.
It was further revealed that the Decoy Team of the RRS ambushed the fraudsters and arrested the five of them at the various positions at the venue of cheque collection in Lekki Phase 2.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu while reacting to the incident advised Lagosians to be more careful while dealing with estate/property agents and always request to see the owner of the property, and also verify his/her identity before parting with their hard earned money.