From Uche Usim, Abuja
Two lovers united by fraud have been arrested by the police for impersonating the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Muhammad Nami, and a Director of the Service on Facebook with the intent to defraud unsuspecting jobseekers.
The two fraudsters, one Ms Onuoha Onachi, who claimed to be a graduate of Imo State University awaiting call-up for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and her lover, Chinedu Okoro, were arrested last Monday and are currently assisting the Federal Capital Territory Command of the police in their investigations.
The FIRS in a statement disclosed that the Intelligence and Investigation Unit of the Service nabbed the duo following torrents of complaints by their victims.
They were thereafter handed to the police.
Okoro, who claimed to have been the owner of a failed boutique business, confessed that he took to the crime of impersonating the FIRS Chairman on Facebook in March 2020 and created a phantom Director of the service with the name, Alhaji Tanko to scam their victims.
According to him, he opened two fake Facebook accounts in the name of the FIRS Chairman and the fictive Alhaji Tanko and populated one of the accounts with pictures of Mr Nami and the other with the internet-generated pictures of an innocent person flaunted social media as Alhaji Tanko.
‘Through an elaborate scheme, Okoro proceeded to represent himself to unsuspecting job applicants whom he directed to one Kayode who in reality is the female suspect, Miss Onuoha. Speaking as the phantom Kayode, Miss Onuoha then redirected their victims to the fictitious Alhaji Tanko who in reality is Okoro, the mastermind of the crime.
‘Speaking as Alhaji Tanko, Okoro then confirmed the availability of jobs at a price at the FIRS to the victims who were then cajoled to part with at least 60 per cent of a lump sum to secure their purported slots. Okoro confessed that he charged as much as N350,000 per victim, while Miss Onuoha admitted to having made N170,000 from the crime before being caught,’ the statement said.
The suspects also confessed to have impersonated the Head of Service of the Federation to defraud jobseekers in the past. They also confessed that the FIRS Chairman knew nothing about their fraudulent activities as they have never met or had any kind of communication with Nami.
FIRS has consistently alerted the public in general to the activities of fraudsters like Okoro and Miss Onuoha through periodic job scam disclaimers published in national dailies and on many online news websites in the country.