Police arrests fake customs officer who duped victims in auction sales

The police in Lagos have arrested a fake Deputy Superintendent of Customs (DSC), Ramoni Raji, who along with two others allegedly duped their victims of not less than N5m in auction sales.

Raji, with the other suspects ? Usman Ibrahim and Adekunle Thomas ? was apprehended Tuesday last week at Gowon Estate area of Lagos by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Raji was said to have disguised as a DSC, Thomas pretended to be Raji’s driver, while Ibrahim was in charge of giving out bank account for victims to pay.

It was gathered that Raji told victims that he was in charge of auctioning vehicles and some goods in containers.

The police explained that the three allegedly usually took their victims to Wharf, Apapa area to show them the goods and vehicles.

One of the victims, identified simply as Mrs. Uche, was allegedly duped of N1.8m when she opted to buy an auctioned Toyota Highlander and paid the sum into an account supplied by the suspects.

63-year-old Raji who hails from Okene, Kogi State, confessed that he had used the customs uniform to dupe victims in Abuja, Lagos and Ilorin, Kwara State.

He said, “I am not a customs officer. I decided to buy the uniform to do business. I bought it from a tailor for N5, 000 with all the kits. The tailor did not know I was not a customs officer.

“I bought the DSC uniform and rank in 2013. The name on the uniform is Yakubu Lawal. I used the uniform to do fake auction sales. I went to Uche’s shop on Unity Road, Ikeja, and convinced her to pay for the vehicle. She initially paid N800, 000 and then the balance subsequently.

“We also have buyers who had fallen into our trap in Ilorin and Abuja. We made N3.5m from a deal in Ilorin, Kwara State. We made N1.4m from another deal.”

Raji, who lived with his family in the Ipaja area of Lagos, added that he became a suspected fraudster when he lost his job with a Flour Mills.

The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the arrest, adding that investigations were ongoing at the SARS into the matter.

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