BEVERLY HILLS, February 08, (THEWILL) – A joint operation of the Lagos and Edo commands of the Nigerian police has apprehended the mastermind behind a syndicate group impersonating the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to defraud unwary members of the public.
Solomon Osiga Ezemede (operating with the aliases of Musa Mukarat and Solomon Musa) along with his cohorts in Auchi, Edo State, were arrested, following a formal complaint by the CBN to the police, stating that the group had severally impersonated management and staff of the bank to deceive the public to invest money under a fake “CBN Helping Hands Investment Scheme,” promising to double the amount invested within 24 hours.
The syndicate reportedly carried out its fraudulent acts on 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 banks accounts.
Police sources disclosed that many digital assets seized from the syndicates were currently being subjected to forensic analysis by the cyber intelligence units of the Nigeria Police and the CBN.
Meanwhile, Ezemede, who has been charged to the Magistrate’s Court in Ebute Metta, Lagos, on a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, fraudulent act and stealing, on December 30, 2020, has been remanded in prison.
The case is billed for trial on March 3, 2021.
Confirming the report, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, said the syndicate had succeeded in defrauding many victims, using the logo, seal, general signage and brand of the CBN.
According to him, the apex bank sprung to action after receiving complaints from the public on funds lost to fraudsters claiming to be CBN agents capable of assisting targets to obtain loans from the bank.
While stressing that the CBN did not engage individuals to act as agents on its behalf for the coordination of its intervention programmes, Nwanisobi cautioned members of the public to be wary of fraudsters parading as staff or agents of the bank.
He also advised members of the public to report suspected cases of fraud to the nearest police station.