The Lagos and Edo Police Commands in a joint operation have arrested the head of the syndicate group, comprising over ten fraud groups impersonating the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through a fake scheme tagged “CBN Helping Hands Investment Scheme.”
Naija News understands the fraudsters are using the scheme to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
The recent arrest of the head of the syndicate, Solomon Osiga Ezemede (operating with aliases: Musa Mukarat and Solomon Musa) along with his cohorts, in Auchi, Edo State, followed a formal report to the police by the CBN.
The CBN in its report to the Police disclosed the group had severally impersonated management and staff of the apex bank and deceived some members of the public to invest money with the CBN, with a promise to double the amount invested within 24 hours.
The syndicate reportedly carried out its fraudulent acts using fake CBN Facebook accounts, fictitious mobile numbers, fake online profiles, and paid testimonials to induce unsuspecting members of the public into paying money into numerous bank accounts.
Many digital assets seized from the syndicates are currently being subjected to forensic analysis by the cyber intelligence units of the Nigeria Police and the CBN.
Meanwhile, the suspect, Solomon Ezemede, who was charged to the Magistrate’s Court in Ebute Metta, Lagos, on a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretense, fraudulent act, and stealing, on December 30, 2020, has been remanded in prison. The case is billed for trial on March 3, 2021.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, said the case had to be reported because the syndicate had succeeded in defrauding many victims, using the logo, seal, general signage, and brand of the CBN.
According to him, complaints received by the Bank bordered largely on funds lost to fraudsters who claimed to be agents of the CBN seeking to assist them obtain loans from the CBN.
While emphasizing that the CBN does not engage individuals to act as agents on its behalf for the coordination of its intervention programmes, Mr. Nwanisobi cautioned members of the public to be wary of fraudsters, who parade themselves as staff or agents of the Bank to swindle them.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered banks in the country to shut down the accounts of cryptocurrency traders.
The CBN in its directive, told Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) local financial institutions to stop any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.
The apex bank in the circular signed by Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa I Jimoh warned that disobedience to the directive will attract sanctions.