The police in Lagos said they have arrested two suspected online fraudsters who had been advertising expensive mobile phones at cheaper prices on jiji.com to defraud ignorant buyers.
The police said the suspects, Chukwu Emeka Ogbonna, 45, and Olabode Kehinde, 34, are both mobile phone technicians at the popular Computer Village, Ikeja.
The police disclosed they arrested Ogbonna and Kehinde at Olowu Street, Ikeja, in two separate incidents.
It was understood that the suspects had a trick of showing buyers the original phone but substituting it with a fake one within a twinkle of an eye after collecting money for the original, and fleeing immediately from the scene, leaving their victims stranded.
According to Ogbona, “Ibrahim is the leader of our gang. He advertises on jiji.com and supplies us with the real Iphone X and the fake Iphone X. The real Iphone X is N240,000, while the fake is an android phone made to look like an Iphone X. It is N30,000.
“The Iphone X was advertised for N155,000. The buyer negotiated for N120,000. Knowing what I wanted to sell to him, I encouraged him to meet me at Olowu after changing meeting locations twice to ensure that we were not being baited by the police.
“I showed him the real Iphone X for him to confirm it, while the fake was in my back pocket. I took the real one back from him again for us to settle our bargain. Meanwhile, I had arranged with other gang members to come around and distract the attention of the buyer so as to create a room for me to swap the real Iphone X with the fake version. This I did and we shared the victim’s N120,000. Unknown to me, the police baited and arrested me after the third day of the fraud. “Times are hard. I had once stopped doing it. But I needed money to feed my family. That is why I came back into it. We are many doing it. We call it street hustling.”
The second suspect, Kehinde, was arrested by the Decoy Team of the Rapid Response Squad for allegedly collecting N100,000 and an Iphone 6S from one Obinna, whom he was said to have lured to the Computer Village after assuring him he would swap for him the Iphone 6S with an original Iphone X, but ended up fraudulently giving him a fake Iphone X.
The police said the suspect also confessed to be a member of the same syndicate that Ogbonna belonged to and they were actually many of their ilk at the Computer Village.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, commenting on the arrest, advised consumers to be wary of suspected fraudsters masquerading as phone dealers.