Two men who are allegedly members of a syndicate that produces fake naira notes have been arrested by the police on Oluwakemi Street, in the Ojodu Abiodun area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects – Hope Ihesiaba and his brother, Ifeanyi – were arrested by the Isheri Police Division on Saturday.
Our correspondent learnt that the police were tipped-off by a woman, who sold foodstuffs in the area, that the suspects spent fake N1,000 notes and the operatives moved in on the duo.
Eighty pieces of fake N1,000 notes, two laptops, a sledge hammer and a cutlass were said to have been recovered by the police from the suspects’ house.
It was gathered that apart from the duo, two friends of Ifeanyi, a lady simply identified as Ijeoma, and a man identified only as Paul, were arrested by the police for allegedly receiving and spending some of the fake notes from the suspects.
The suspects with recovered items
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, 33-year-old Hope, from Abia State, said he got the fake notes from a friend in Aba, Abia State. He denied that he was the producer of the notes.
He said, “I do not produce fake naira notes. I have a friend who does that. His name is Odiyi, and he sells in a market in Aba.
“I gave him N28,000 real money and he gave me the N80,000 fake naira notes. I knew the money was fake; but I did it to help myself. I gave my brother parts of the money. He in turn gave some to two of his friends.
“I am not married. I just needed money and I was tempted to collect the notes.”
The younger brother, Ifeanyi, who was the first to be arrested, told PUNCH Metro that a woman selling recharge cards raised the alarm after realising he gave her a fake N1,000 note and alerted some security guards.
“My brother and I live together in an estate in Oluwakemi. On Saturday, I went to the Magodo area where I wanted to buy a recharge card from a woman. She just checked the note and raised the alarm. She started shouting on me until some security guards called the police and I was arrested.
“The policemen came and searched my brother’s house. They found all the notes there. I was given the fake notes, I don’t produce them.”
Our correspondent learnt that the police had launched a manhunt for the runaway Aba trader.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said investigation was ongoing into the matter.
He said, “They are a syndicate producing fake naira notes in the state. Investigation is still ongoing.”