By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—ABIA State Police Command yesterday, paraded 18 suspects involved in operation of wonder banks in Aba under the guise of empowerment programmes, which turned out to be a ponzi scheme.
Sixteen of the suspects are women while only two are men.
Also, the police disclosed that a total of N7. 93 million cash was recovered from the suspects, while the sum of N91.18 million was traced to the various bank accounts of the 22 organisations through which the scam was being perpetrated.
The suspects were arrested by the investigative panel set up last week by the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike when the scam was reported to him.
The suspects were among the 57 suspects paraded by the Police Commissioner in Umuahia for various crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, stealing, child abuse and belonging to a banned group.
Addressing journalists shortly before parading the suspects, Ezike lamented that the empowerment scam “was pervasive and portend the crippling of retail activities in Aba.”
According to him, investigation was ongoing in the matter, adding that “our legal consultation has expanded to ensure that our decisions are prudent, satisfy public policy and ensure justice for all”.
Speaking generally on his plan to adequately police Abia State, Ezike who resumed work in the state two weeks ago, explained that Abia’s status of sharing boundaries with seven states makes it imperative that it needs to be properly policed to ensure that “we make it safer, more secure, better and prosperous.”