Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Police in Ogun State have nabbed an ex convict, one Surajudeen Adeleke Balogun, for allegedly impersonating and using the picture of a Director of Finance in the state civil service to perpetuate fraud on Facebook.
The suspect, a fashion designer and indigene of Ijebu Ode, had reportedly opened a Facebook account as a staff of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the picture of the said Director of Finance, through which he had been defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the 46-year-old suspect had earlier been arrested and convicted for similar offence.
He was said to have swindled one Bimpe Akinmade of N950,000, having claimed to be an NNPC staff based in Port-Harcourt, when he asked the woman to lend him the said amount to secure the release of his brother who was being remanded in Ibara Prison, Abeokuta, with a promise to refund the money.
“He came to meet the victim under the pretence of running an errand for the Port-Harcourt based man, collected the money and blocked the woman on his Facebook page.
He was later traced and arrested by the police, charged to court and sentenced to prison.
“As soon as he came out of prison, he started his nefarious activities again. Luck, however, ran against him when he was trying to defraud another woman on Facebook under the same guise, not knowing the woman is a police officer.
“The officer played along with him until Saturday, February 17th, when he was arrested when trying to collect money from the woman. On interrogation, however, he owned up to the crime. He told the police that he downloaded the picture of the director of finance and used it as his own picture in order to deceive and swindle his victims,” the PPRO stated.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Iliyasu, has ordered that the case be thoroughly investigated and charged to court as soon as possible. He, therefore, appealed to members of the public to beware of fraudsters on social media.