By Bukar Bolori
Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have smashed two syndicates that specialize in criminal conspiracy, cheating, obtaining by trick (OBT) and production/distribution of counterfeited US Dollars (USD) and new Naira notes into the society.
A statement on Friday by the spokesman of the Corps, Olusola Odumosu read that acting on credible Intelligence, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ Special Intelligence Squad (CG’s SIS) in a clandestine operations, arrested two syndicates alleged to be involved in offences ranging from criminal conspiracy, cheating, obtaining by trick (OBT) and production/distribution of counterfeited US Dollars (USD) and new Naira notes into the society.
Odumosu said one of the groups arrested, which consisted of four male adults were caught in possession of $64,800 and N475,000 notes, while fake notes of N1.5 million was also seized from the second group consisting of five male adults.
He revealed that the names of members of the syndicate arrested with the sum of N1.5m are ; Dantala Omale, 30 years, Musa Abdullahi, 24 years,, Audu Abdulazeez, 56 years, Umar Hassan 46 years and Mahammadu Yakubu, 30 years.
He disclosed that the arrest was effected when one Dantala Omale was lured to Nasarawa from Plateau state and picked up by the squad on the 22nd of February, 2023, with fake new naira notes of N412,000.According to him, the arrested suspect confessed getting the fake notes from Musa Abdullahi, aka Baballe which led to the arrest of Abdullahi on 22nd of February, 2023 at Namu area of Quanpan local government area n Plateau state in possession of N49,650 old naira notes.
He said after a thorough interrogation, Abdullahi confessed that he usually gets his supply of fake currencies from one Audu Abdulazeez, aka Dan-Gombe, who the squad arrested on the 3rd of March 2023, at Plateau Express service motor park in Jos, Plateau State, at about 11:20 a.m with N350,000 fake newly redesigned Naira notes.
He said the effort of the squad to arrest all members of the syndicate paid off when Abdulazeez confessed to giving one Umar Hassan the fake notes. When Hassan was apprehended, he was in possession of N20,500 and he also confessed to his involvement in the crime and that he regularly transact with one Mohammadu Yakubu, who was also arrested close to the old CBN office in Lafia town, at about 3:10 p.m on March 5, 2023 with fake N2000 of the new Naira notes.
He said further investigation however, revealed that the group operated within and around Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.
He said members of the second syndicate arrested with the exhibits of $64,800 and N475,000 are; Jonathan Dakogol, Abbas Ibrahim, Isa Ukashatu and Aminu Isa.
Isa Ukashatu and Jonathan Dakogol were arrested with fake $64,800 and N475,000 at Akurba of Lafia local government area in Nasarawa State after being lured to deliver the money to a client.
He said upon arrest, Dakogol volunteered and led the CG’s SIS operatives to Kurgwi area in Quaan’Pan local government area, Plateau State, where one Aminu Isa who was alleged to be a herbalist was also arrested.
Isa also led the Squad to the arrest of one 62 years old Abbas Ibrahim in Quaan’Pan local government area, Plateau State who had collected $30,000 fake US Dollars from him.
He said all suspects at the point of arrest were found in possession of fake dollars and the newly redesigned Naira notes ranging from N500 to N1000 denominations respectively and had also confessed to being involved in the business for over five years.Meanwhile, the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi has commended the CG’s SIS for a job well done and described the criminal gangs as economic saboteurs destroying the country through the perpetration of financial crimes and defrauding of innocent citizens.He stated that their arrest is a good omen for the country because it helped to stop the distribution and influx of fake currencies into society which could have caused great setbacks to the economy. He charged the squad leader, DCC Appollos Dandaura, and his team to intensify efforts for more arrests by launching their dragnet further into every nook and cranny of the country in order to fish out other dangerous criminal elements and syndicates perpetrating heinous financial crimes at the detriment of the nation.He warned all criminal syndicates to desist from this venture and get other legitimate means of survival or face the wrath of the law because NSCDC and other security agencies will fish them out no matter their hiding places.Odumosu said the arrested suspects are still assisting the Corps with useful information for further investigation and would be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution after the preliminary investigation is concluded. He said a manhunt has been launched for other fleeing members of the syndicates.