A sacked soldier, Lawal Abubakar, is among six persons currently in police net in Katsina for allegedly defrauding a businessman, Mark Udoh, of N4.5m.
The 47-year-old soldier who resides at Hayin Gada, Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state, said he was a sergeant before he was dismissed from the Nigerian Army.
Other members of the syndicate are Abubakar Mohammed, 45, of Filin Lazio, Hotoro Quarters, Nassarawa LGA, Kano State; Sani Mohammed, 38, of Bakiyawa village, Batagarawa LGA; Kabir Sani,50, of Rahamawa Quarters, Katsina ;Aliyu Ahmed,35, of Tsamiya Babba Quarters, Kano, and Mallam Muttaqa Ukashatu, 51, of Unuwar mallamai Jibia,also in Katsina State.
The police alleged that Abubakar and members of his syndicate lied to the businessman that they had a consignment of auctioned rice for sale.
It was also learnt that Abubakar and his syndicate members falsely presented themselves as officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.
The police alleged that Abubakar and his gang demanded N7.2m from the businessman out of which he paid N4.5m.
But following the inability of the syndicate to supply the commodity or refund the money, the businessman formally complained to the police, leading to their arrest.
The Katsina Police Command spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the development to Northern City News on Thursday.
He said, “Nemesis caught up with the syndicate when one Lawal Abubakar, aged 47, of Hayin Gada, Dutsinma LGA of Katsina State, a dismissed soldier, in collaboration with five others, fraudulently deceived one Mark Udoh, aged 46, of Funtua LGA of Katsina State, that they are officers of the Nigeria Custom Service, Katsina.
“They offered to sell 600 bags of auctioned rice to him at N7.2m and they received N4.5m cash. The suspects confessed to the commission of the offence and the role played by each member of the syndicate and amount received.”
Udoh, in an interview, said he never believed that the suspects were fraudsters “as they presented themselves as genuine businessmen.”