By Ifeanyi Okolie & Esther Onyegbula
A fraudster, Akeem Alo, who specialized in producing and selling counterfeit currency, has been arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery, Squad, SARS, at the Zone 2, headquarters, Onikan, Lagos.
The 42-year-old suspect, from Oyo State, was arrested when the operatives stormed his hideout in Ikorodu, apprehended him and recovered fake local and foreign currencies.
Meanwhile, policemen in Lagos, yesterday, foiled attempt by a mob to lynch a middle-aged man, who allegedly bought wares from a young girl with fake N1,000 notes, at about 10:30am around EcoBank branch, along Alaba International Market Road.
The fraud was discovered when the young girl went to her neighbour to request for help in getting smaller denominations.
The neighbour raised alarm and the suspect was apprehended by neighbours and passers-by, who descended on him.
According to an eyewitness, Ijeoma Obodo, “we were here when he purchased something from that little girl with a fake N1,000 note.
“He would have succeeded in using the fake currency and also collecting his change from her.”
When Vanguard got to the scene of the incident yesterday, the suspect had been rescued by police officer and brought out from the drain he fell into.
I had stopped the business— ALO
On Akeem Alo, spokesman of Zone 2 command headquarters, Olugbenimi Adeoyo, while confirming the arrest, told Vanguard that fake $100, £100 notes, and N20,000 were found with the suspects, when he was arrested.
Adeoyo also described Alo as a habitual criminal who had been arrested several times for the same offence.
Adeoye said: “He has been arrested twice and he has kept on coming back. We are going to charge him to court and remand him.”
When Vanguard interviewed the suspect, he said: “I am a butcher. I was arrested last Wednesday. Someone called and said he needed dollars and Pounds. He wanted to use it as ‘treasure,’ which means for fraud.
“I brought the Dollars to the place and I was arrested by the police. Before now, I was arrested in 2013 and they recovered $100,000 and £100,000 from me. I usually sell $10,000 for N2,000, while I sell £10,000 for N3000.
“I was charged to court after the first arrest and I got bail. I have stopped doing this business, but this man called me and said he would pay me N15,000 if I could supply him foreign currencies. I needed the money to pay my son’s school fees.”