Officials of the Delta State Police Command have arrested some fake Economic and Financial Crimes Commission operatives in the state over alleged break-ins, kidnappings and extortion of unsuspecting victims.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the arrest followed a series of complaints received from members of the public, especially from the youths, alleging that the EFCC operatives usually break into their houses at night, forcefully arrest them, take them away and extort huge sums of money from them.
It was gathered that the rise in the complaints partly gave rise to the “End EFCC” protest in Ughelli that led to the burning of over 13 trucks and the destruction of properties sometimes ago.
The Police Public Relations Officer for Delta, DSP Bright Edafe, said in a signed statement made available to journalists in Warri on Friday that “the Command did not relent over the complaints, as intelligence gathered revealed that the perpetrators may not be EFCC operatives as it is being alleged.”
The PPRO stated that on November 16, 2022, the Command received another complaint from a victim (name withheld) whose house was stormed at night by the syndicate.
According to the police spokesman, the syndicate gained entrance into the compound by scaling the fence, breaking into the apartment, and forcefully abducting and taking their target away in a white Toyota Hiace bus.
The victim further told the police that on getting to the head bridge, that is, the boundary between Delta and Anambra State, the syndicate forcefully collected his phones from him and other valuables worth N3,700,000, made a cash transfer of N2,500,000 and told him that they will come for him again.
The police noted that five other victims also reported to the Command and made statements of how they were robbed of about N15,000,000 and it then became clear to the police that it is the activities of hoodlums pretending to be EFCC operatives.
Consequently, the Commissioner of Police in the State, CP Ari Muhammed Ali, directed the Command Decoy Squad to investigate the incident and ensure that the culprits are arrested and brought to book.
In compliance with this directive, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, the Commander, CP-Decoy ASP Julius Robinson, acting on credible information led operatives on a sting operation, and trailed the suspects to their hideout in a Hotel located in Asaba, where they hibernate to plan their next operation and arrested five suspects.
Those nabbed comprised Prince Allison (29), resident in Port Harcourt and the leader of the syndicate claiming to be EFCC contract staff in Port-Harcourt; George Chisom Onyeweagu (29), resident in Owerri and he operates the POS that they use to forcefully withdraw money from their victim’s account; Duke Okoro (40) resident in Asaba, Delta State; Joseph Osinachi (23) resident in Lagos State; and Onyocha Stanley (32), resident in Owerri.
On interrogation, all the suspects admitted to having robbed different victims from various parts of the state. They also stated that they sometimes lodged their victims in a hotel for days until they succeed in extorting huge sums of money from them or forcing them to transfer money into their mobile POS.
The police recovered from the syndicate a white operational Hummer bus, two locally manufactured EFCC jackets, a POS machine and eight mobile phones while six of their victims have already identified them as the syndicate who broke into their houses under the guise of being EFCC operatives.
Meanwhile, the police said that investigation is ongoing into the matter while those arrested are in custody.
The Commissioner of Police has also assured residents in the State that justice will be served while the Command will ensure that the culprits are duly prosecuted. The CP advised the public, especially the youths to “have a rethink before taking laws into their hands as some situations may have more to it than it meets the eyes.”