Thursday, 2 June 2016

Photos: RRS nabs two brothers in possession of fake currency

Operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command, today, arrested two blood brothers allegedly in connection with the possession of 80 pieces of fake N1000. The suspects who are from the same parents, Ifeanyi Ihesiaba and Hope Ihesiaba, were apprehended on a tip-off from the owner of a business centre(name withheld) at Magodo/Isheri area of Lagos, where one of the suspects, Ifeanyi, went to buy a recharge card of N200 with a fake One Thousand Naira note.

According to the shop operator, “It was around 6:35 pm. I was inside my shop when I saw this young man came in to demand for Two hundred Naira of recharge card. I stood up immediately to attend to him. I demanded for the money before I could give him the recharge card he asked for. Suspiciously, I deeply looked at the money, and I discovered that it was a fake denomination of One thousand Naira…. Then, I pretended as if I was still looking for the recharge card and balance of N800 Naira, and I used the back door to go out. I looked around for the Police, and luckily for me, I saw RRS operatives who were on patrol routine around the axis. I explained to them, and they instantly followed me to my shop which led to his arrest.” 

Upon his arrival at the RRS’ Headquarters in Alausa, the suspect made a confessional statement, saying that his brother, Hope Ihesiaba, who just arrived to Lagos from South-Eastern part of the Country, gave him the money. “I will not deny the fact that the monies are fake. But I thought I could spend them around the area. I have made a greatest mistake of my life”, he noted.
However, his confessional statement helped the Police to track his brother to brothel where he was arrested after hidden for two days. While interrogating his brother, he said that he never knew it was a criminal offence to be in possession of fake currency. 
"When I noticed that my brother has been apprehended where he went to spend the money, I had to take to my heels. I went to hide in a brothel around Berger area. But at a point, I realised that blood is thicker than water, and more so, my brother is innocent. So, when he pretended that he was released on bail, I decided to show face in order to apologise to him… I don't know he was deceiving me so that I can come out from my shell. I went back home after two days, unknowingly, Police had surrounded everywhere, and I got arrested". 
Explaining how he got the fake currency, the suspect said “I bought the currency from one guy simply identified as Odi in Aba. I exchanged 80 pieces of fake one thousand naira for N28,000. There is a popular relaxation spot in Aba, called Boropit opposite Ariara Market. At this place, there are many people dealing with this fake currency." 
The suspected criminal said that he relocated to Lagos last November after his laundry shop in Rumuola Road in Port-Harcourt was demolished by the State Government. 
"When all I had laboured for in my life has been destroyed by the government, I had to relocate to Lagos to start a new life. At the moment, I am managing with my brother in his apartment. I was looking for capital to start -up my laundry business, but help was not forthcoming. Then, I decided to go to Aba to buy the fake currency, so I can be spending it here and collecting balances in each one thousand naira. I think by this means, I can begin new life".
He went further, “When I got back to Lagos with 80 pieces of fake one thousand naira, I shared it into two; I gave my brother 40 pieces and also took 40 pieces of fake currency. It was one of the fake money I gave my brother that he wanted to spend to buy to a recharge card where he was arrested."
The RRS operatives further made frantic efforts to recover all other fake currency in their possession, by searching their three-bedroom flat residence, at No 2B Oluwakemi Street, Ojodu-Abiodun, where another 77 pieces of fake one thousand were recovered. His girlfriend, Ndubuisi Ijeoma, and another suspect, Simeone Joseph, were also arrested. 
In his words, Simeon Joseph, who denied having knowledge of the fake currency found on the suspect, said that he was only putting up with him pending the time he will get his own accommodation. “I am into music production and learning hair dressing from one Mrs. Orji who had recently travelled out of the country. I knew the suspect about ten years ago…. I am just trying may be I will be managing with him in his shop because he is also a hair-stylist. And since my boss had travelled out of the country, I wish I continue learning the work. This is why I decided to put up with him in his house in Ojodu. Apart from hair dressing work, I did not know that the suspect is dealing with fake currency.”
He continued: “I did not know anything about the one thousand naira denomination found on him and subsequent search of his house where another fake currency was recovered. I know it is criminal offence to be in possession or spend of fake currency.
One of the suspect’s girlfriends, Ndubuisi Ijeoma, confessed that all the fake currency found in her wardrobe all belonged to his boyfriend, Ifeanyi Ihesiaba. 
“The Policemen conducted a search in my room and they found two laptops, DSTV Walka, and my phones. The laptops belonged to my boyfriend and his friend. The fake currency found under my clothes was kept there by the suspect, which I knew nothing about. I don’t know anything about the fake currency, but was recovered under my clothes in my room,” Ijeoma added. 
Other items recovered from the suspects are two laptops, a cutlass, sledge hammer and a sum of Seventeen Thousand Naira.
Confirming the arrest, the state Police' Spokesperson, Superintendent of Police, SP Dolapo Badmus, implored people to critically look at any currency denomination exchanging with them for business transaction. The suspects have been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for prosecution.

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