A fraud syndicate, which has been in operation for years, finally
crumpled like a pack of cards after two of its members started fighting
over a lady called ‘Precious.’ The division in the syndicate, which had
offices in different states and communities, led operatives of the
Inspector- General of Police Special Intelligence Team (IRT), to smash
the gang. The smashing of the gang followed a series of letters to the
IGP, Mohammed Adamu, in Abuja, from some victims, detailing how they
The IGP instructed IRT operatives, led by a
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, to lead the
investigation. At least, 11 members of the syndicate are currently in
police custody. The suspects include a 28-year-old woman, Peace Eje.
are Frank Pius, Nduka Innocent, Okechukwu John, Nicholas Nwosu,
Chikezie Uwandu, Amos Eze, Ikechukwu John, Michael Ali, Usman Ladan and
Lawrence Adams. One of the members, Ladan, 60, said that trouble started
after the overall leader, Adams, made moves to snatch his lover,
Precious, from him. He believed that the split in the gang was the
genesis of their waterloo. He said: “It was Mr. Lawrence that led the
police to arrest me because we had a fight over Precious, who is my
As chairman, I coordinated all operations and I have
all the materials that were used for operations.” According to the
police, the syndicate specialised in defrauding unsuspecting residents
of Kaduna State and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja, of
their money. The suspects were all arrested in Kabala area of Kaduna
State and Jabi area of Abuja. A police source said: “The syndicate
operated, using cabs. When they have a target in their cab, they start a
conversation about a bag filled with foreign currencies in the boot of
The cab driver will accuse the supposed owner of the bag
of trying to get him and other passengers into trouble by not informing
him about the content in the bag. “The (supposed) owner of the bag will
confess that the money was stolen from a very powerful Alhaji. The
owner will claim to be looking for a spiritualist, to help take away the
charm or juju on the money. The owner will offer to share the money
with everyone in the vehicle that can help in getting a powerful
medicine man or woman to cleanse the money.
“If the victim is a
greedy person, he will show interest in the story and from that point,
he’ll be taken to a fake native doctor. At the native doctor’s place,
the victim will be asked to take an oath that he will not reveal the
secret and event to anyone or he would die.
From that point, the
victim will be swindled.” The alleged leader of the syndicate, Adams,
45, said that he joined the syndicate and rose to become its leader. He
explained that he provided details on how the syndicate carried out
Adams, married to two wives, blessed with nine
children, said: “I reside in Abuja metropolis, but I was formerly into
tomatoes business. I would buy from Zaria and supply to different parts
of the country. I fell into the hands of fraudsters and lost N850, 000. I
later joined another syndicate in 2007. Members of the syndicate taught
me how to do the job.”
Explaining the syndicate’s modus
operandi, Adams said: “I usually sit at the front seat of the car, while
other members seat at the back with the victim. When we get to a point,
a member at the back will tell the driver that he wants to stop to
carry his bag in the boot.
The driver will tell him that he saw
that the bag or carton contained money. The owner will tell the driver
that the carton or bag contained $1million and that he was trying to
take the money to his sister to help him remove the charm. “The driver
will start shouting that he’ll take the money to the police.
is to beg the driver not to call the police. I would suggest that we
help the owner of the money, on the promise that we’ll share out of it.
The driver will accept our pleadings. We’ll then ask our victim, if he
knows any herbalist that can remove the charm. “If he says no, I’ll
mention that I have an herbalist. We’ll go there and the herbalist, who
is part of us, will ask each of us to pay N80,000 for cleansing of the
money. After we have achieved that, the herbalist will ask us to bring
500, 000 dollars each and then we would ask him to change the money in
the bag to naira. I have lost count of the number of people I have
We have offices in Jabi and Zango, close to Turkish
hospital and at old Karimo.” Ladan on his part explained that he
coordinated the Kaduna State arm of the syndicate. He said: “I was
formerly a trader. I became a fraudster in 2008 after I was defrauded.
My office is in Kaduna. It was formerly owned by Yusuf, who had died. I
took over as the chairman. I have four boys working for me. Alex was our
driver, but he had died. He was the person that used to hunt for
victims. “We scout for victims along Nnamdi Azikiwe Road. Our shrine is
located at Kabala area of Kaduna State.
I have lost count of the
number of people I had swindled.” Amos Eze, 38, a fake native doctor of
the syndicate, said: “I’m one of the group’s native doctors. When they
bring a victim to my shrine, I pretend I don’t know members of our
They’ll ask for mama, I tell them that mama was dead.
I will tell them that I’m in charge of mama’s shrine.” Eze continued:
“I’ll ask what brought them to my shrine, they’ll claim they have family
problems and needed solutions. I will consult my oracle and tell them
that they were all liars and that they all met 30 minutes ago.
will tell them that one of them was a thief, but not a good one. I will
tell them that I saw money and charms. They’ll start begging me to
remove the charms for them. “I’ll ask them to go and buy an Akpobiki
skin, a blind man’s walking stick with oil and water in it, and Sarri
water. These are things I know they couldn’t get by themselves.
ask me to get them. I’ll ask each of them to pay N30,000, so that I can
get the items to prepare the cleansing of the money.
victim pays his own share of the money, I make them take an oath not to
allow anyone outside their circle to know what was going on and from
there, I’ll ask him to pray for long life and prosperity so that the
money will not harm him.
I’ll tell the victim that the charm to cleanse the money, was prepared by seven Islamic clerics. That it was prepared around 12 midnight. And from that point, I then start extorting money from the victim.”