The Lagos State Police Command in a joint operation with the Edo State Command, have arrested the mastermind of a syndicate comprising over ten fraud groups impersonating the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under the name “CBN Helping Hands Investment Scheme.”
The arrest of the head of the syndicate identified as Solomon Osiga Ezemede (operating with aliases: Musa Mukarat and Solomon Musa) along with his cohorts, in Auchi, Edo State, followed a formal report to the police by the CBN.
The CBN in a statement revealed that the group had impersonated management and staff of the bank and deceived some members of the public to invest money, with a promise to double the amount invested within 24 hours.
The syndicate carried out its fraudulent acts on fake CBN Facebook accounts, fictitious mobile numbers, fake online profiles and paid testimonials to induce unsuspecting members of the public into paying money into numerous bank accounts.
CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, confirming the report said the arrest was necessary because the syndicate had succeeded in defrauding many victims, using the logo and seal, general signage and brand of the CBN.
CBN stressed that it does not engage individuals to act as agents on its behalf to coordinate its intervention programmes and warned Nigerians to be wary of fraudsters, who parade themselves as staff or agents of the Bank to defraud them.
Nwanisobi also cautioned members of the public to report suspected cases of fraud to the nearest police station even as he warned those involved in fraud to desist from such nefarious acts.