Two men who are allegedly members of a syndicate that produces fake naira notes have been arrested by the police on Oluwakemi Street, in the Ojodu Abiodun area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects – Hope Ihesiaba and his brother, Ifeanyi – were arrested by the Isheri Police Division on Saturday.
Our correspondent learnt that the police were tipped-off by a woman, who sold foodstuffs in the area, that the suspects spent fake N1,000 notes and the operatives moved in on the duo.
Eighty pieces of fake N1,000 notes, two laptops, a sledge hammer and a cutlass were said to have been recovered by the police from the suspects’ house.
It was gathered that apart from the duo, two friends of Ifeanyi, a lady simply identified as Ijeoma, and a man identified only as Paul, were arrested by the police for allegedly receiving and spending some of the fake notes from the suspects.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, 33-year-old Hope, from Abia State, said he got the fake notes from a friend in Aba, Abia State. He denied that he was the producer of the notes.
He said, “I do not produce fake naira notes. I have a friend who does that. His name is Odiyi, and he sells in a market in Aba.
“I gave him N28,000 real money and he gave me the N80,000 fake naira notes. I knew the money was fake; but I did it to help myself. I gave my brother parts of the money. He in turn gave some to two of his friends.
“I am not married. I just needed money and I was tempted to collect the notes.”
The younger brother, Ifeanyi, who was the first to be arrested, told PUNCH Metro that a woman selling recharge cards raised the alarm after realising he gave her a fake N1,000 note and alerted some security guards.
“My brother and I live together in an estate in Oluwakemi. On Saturday, I went to the Magodo area where I wanted to buy a recharge card from a woman. She just checked the note and raised the alarm. She started shouting on me until some security guards called the police and I was arrested.
“The policemen came and searched my brother’s house. They found all the notes there. I was given the fake notes, I don’t produce them.”
Our correspondent learnt that the police had launched a manhunt for the runaway Aba trader.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said investigation was ongoing into the matter.
He said, “They are a syndicate producing fake naira notes in the state. Investigation is still ongoing.