The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has arrested and is currently interrogating a suspected fraudster, Plateau State-born Monday Ahamadu, who allegedly paraded himself on the social network platform Facebook as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi.
The suspect, it was learnt, had, allegedly posing as the Customs chief, been directing his Facebook friends interested in joining the Service to one Mallam Kabiru, who allegedly played the role of the Recruitment Officer, duping many unsuspecting applicants of huge sums of money in the process.
The bubble, according to sources, began to burst on the scam when the fake Customs chief was contacted by a certain Facebook friend, one Mr. Aliyu, said to be a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to assist him and his brother secure employment into the NCS, and the said Monday Ahamadu allegedly directed the duo to send their credentials through an email address.
The duo, having complied with the fake Customs Comptroller-General’s directives by submitting their credentials, the suspect, it was gathered, promised to connect Aliyu with the fake Recruitment Officer, as, according to the fake Customs chief, he would not have the time to personally attend to their issue due to the tight schedule of his office.
Sources explained that shortly after the fake Recruitment Officer, Kabiru, was introduced to Aliyu and his brother, Kabiru allegedly began extorting money from the duo over one facilitation procedure or the other.
It was learnt that Aliyu in his statement to the Police had claimed that Kabiru at on stage allegedly sent him a fake letter of interview with the Customs.
It was further gathered that Aliyu informed Police detectives that it was when he took the letter of interview to the Customs office, and was told by the officers he met there that no recruitment interview was in the schedule of the Service that it dawned on him that he had been a victim of fraudsters.
Sources revealed that, consequently, Aliyu tipped off the Police, and the said Kabiru was promptly arrested when he showed up to collect the money he allegedly demanded in a phone call to Aliyu, ostensibly to finalise the said employment process for Aliyu and his brother to join the services of the NCS.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), FCT Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police Altine Daniel, while confirming the story, revealed that the fake Customs Comptroller-General and Recruitment Officer have allegedly confessed to the crime.
The two suspects, according to the PPRO, are still undergoing interrogation.
Meanwhile, the NCS has again warned members of the public against the activities of fake job syndicates that use its name to defraud unsuspecting job seekers.
This warning is coming on the heels of increasing rate of illegal Customs recruitment syndicates on social media.
The NCS also warned that it does not conduct auction sales of vehicles or any goods via Facebook or any other online platform.
The NCS Management in a public notice stated that the internet fraudsters used the name of its Comptroller-General to create a fake Facebook account from where job seekers were referred to an officer in one of its units or Commands.
“They create fake face book accounts in the name of the Comptroller-General of Customs. You are, therefore, deceived to believe that you are chatting with the Comptroller-General Customs who might even refer you to an officer in the Public Relations Unit, Human Resource Department or any other department of the Service.
“Beware the discussions that will eventually lead to a request that you pay money into some private account is pure scam,” the NCS stated.
While advising members of the public to maintain vigilance with regards to online job offers, the Service reiterated that it neither sells recruitment forms online, nor offer appointment letters through Facebook or any other online media.