A 24-year-old man who posed as a lady to defraud a United States of America couple of $42,497, purportedly for the purchase of a property in Lagos, has been arrested by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The suspect was said to have connived with a Malaysian lady, who according to him, was his Facebook friend, to defraud the couple.
Admitting the offence while being paraded yesterday, the suspect, identified as Olafiranye Adedamola, who trained in aluminium works, said he had intended to use the money to further his studies in a tertiary institution.
Spokesperson for the unit, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, while explaining how the suspect was arrested, said: “An intelligence report dated September 24, 2013 from Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Abuja addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU) alleged that one Olafiranye Adedamola opened a USD Domiciliary Account No. 273/6980678251/0 with the Demurin, Ketu, Lagos Branch of Sterling Bank Plc and through suspicious circumstances, a cumulative sum of USD 42,497 was paid into the account by unsuspecting victims abroad between August 13, 2013 and September 16, 2013.
“The suspected illicit inflows were followed by immediate cash withdrawals by the suspect who appeared to have no known affiliation with the international depositors.
“SFU operatives swung into action and investigation carried out on the domiciliary account revealed that $18,129.92 is still left in the account and a lien was immediately placed on the account.
“The suspect was traced to his house at 7, Agidi Road, Oshogun, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos but he evaded police arrest and his father, a proprietor of a moribund driving school, feigned ignorance of his son’s whereabouts. However, the fleeing suspect was later apprehended by the Police.
“Olafiranye Adedamola who posed as a lady named Janet was born in 1989 in Kosofe LGA Ketu, Lagos.
“An artisan who trained in construction of aluminum but currently a driving instructor in his father’s moribund driving school located in Ketu, Lagos claimed he met a Nigerian at a conference in Malaysia who introduced him to the victim who requested that he purchased property for him in Nigeria which was the basis for the disbursement of the money into his account and that he had already bought a building at Ogba, Ikeja for N4 million and that the documents were with him.”
Adedamola said he first met the couple on Facebook and in the course of their discussion, booked for a meeting in Malaysia.
According to him; “I posed as Janet on the Facebook, using a white woman’s photograph. I told the couple that I was an estate manager and convinced them to buy property in Lagos.
“Since they have not been to Nigeria, they asked us to meet elsewhere and when I stumbled on a business conference that was holding in Malaysia, I booked the meeting.
“On reaching Malaysia, I told a Facebook lady friend to pose as Janet after telling her what to say. That was how the deal was struck and they paid the dollar equivalent of N3.4 million into my account. I intended to use the money to further my studies because I am determined to be a graduate. I used part of the money to travel again to Malaysia for leisure in August.
“My regret is that I was caught at the end because I used my genuine data to open the account. I guess it was because it is my first time,” Adedamola said.
The SFU spokesperson said the suspect will soon be charged to court.