The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a couple for allegedly defrauding the Federal government of N60m through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The couple, Tunde and Fumilayo, had after the fraudulent act run to Ghana to avoid being arrested by the police.
Fumilayo who works with Clearline International Limited, a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), based in Lagos, had allegedly diverted funds meant for health insurance to her personal account.
Fumilayo who had been working with the company since 2014, also accused her organisation of fraud, alleging that the HMO trained workers to cheat the system.
Fumilayo had after diverting the said amount, taken her annual leave early this year and absconded with her lover and accomplice, Tunde, to Ghana.
The company, however, uncovered the fraud after Fumilayo had left for her annual vacation. The company had launched an investigation into the fraud as attempts to reach Fumilayo proved abortive.
The suspects were arrested and paraded by the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, at the Police Officers’ Mess in Ikeja, on Monday.
Funmilayo, a mother of two said: “I have been working with Clearline International Limited since 2014 to early 2019. We act as the middle man between the NHIS and the hospitals. Our company cheats the system as we falsify records. When NHIS gives us money to pay the hospitals, we do not spend all that was given to us and we do not refund the excess to the NHIS purse; the company pockets the money.
“The money I diverted on behalf of the company was N60m, but I took N38m to my personal account. My bosses, Kolawole and Patricia, were also involved in the fraud.
“It was an insider in my office that called my husband and advised that we should run away. So we ran to Ghana. It was after they arrested my husband that I had to come out to tell the police the truth. The truth is that our company cheats. We were trained to steal. I am warning people who do business with HMO to be weary. HMO is fraud.”
On his own, Tunde said: “Fumilayo is my lover, she told me that she wanted to travel out because she had defrauded her company and needed to run far. We left for Ghana early this year, but I had to return two weeks ago when news reached me that my mother was dead. It was at her burial in Ogba area of Lagos that I was arrested.”
The Secretary to Clearline International Limited, Ijeoma Anyiam, while reacting the development said: “It was the day Funmilayo commenced her annual vacation that a hospital called to report that she did not pay them for some months. They reported further that anytime they called, she would tell them that the matter would be resolved and since that was her portfolio; she would take money meant for another hospital, and pay them. So, when they now complained and she was on vacation, someone else had to look into the matter and found out that we had paid on a particular date. We got their account number, investigated and that was how we found out the fraud.”
On what the company was doing, Anyiam who is also the General Manager of the HMO, said the company would cooperate with the police in their investigation and ensure that those indicted in the company were brought to book.