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Police nab suspected meter thief

By Tony Edike

ENUGU— THE police in Enugu yesterday apprehended a member of a syndicate, which specializes in duping electricity consumers and stealing Prepayment Meters of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, within Enugu State capital.

Luck ran out on the suspect, who identified himself as Mr. Caleb  Chukwu, from Ihe in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State yesterday, when he went to the premises of a retired PHCN staff at Onwudiwe Street, Uwani Enugu and demand N30,000 as fine for alleged illegal connection.

The ex-PHCN staff was said to have tricked him by requesting that he should give some time to raise the money and asked the suspect to come later. But unknown to him, the man rushed to the PHCN office and reported the incident, following which policemen were deployed to his residence to lay ambush for the suspect, who was later apprehended.

Although the suspect had genuine PHCN identity card on him, which he claimed was issued to him some years back when he worked with a firm that installed the Prepayment meters for PHCN in Enugu, officials of the electricity company said Chukwu and members of his syndicate had allegedly used the same card to defraud several unsuspecting customers in the state.

Chukwu, according to the Business Manager, PHCN Ogui Business Unit, Mr. Benneth Mmerem, had on Friday last week gone to the residence of one Charles Eneh of  Woodward Railway Quarters, Asata Enugu with two others now at large, and removed his Prepayment meter. They issued a fake disconnection notice to the customer, directing him to report at PHCN office for allegedly embarking on illegal connection but Eneh got to the Ogui Business Unit of the company on Monday, only to discover that the three persons were not staff of the company and his meter could not be found.


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