Covid-19

Police smash fake Covid-19 certificate syndicate, apprehend five

fake coronavirus certificates

By Benjamin Omoike

Five suspected members of a syndicate, who specialised in forging fake coronavirus certificates, have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Daily Times reports that the Commissioner of Police, Airport Command and Aviation Security (AVSEC), Umar Bature, made this known at a press briefing held at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The Commissioner explained that a 35-year old man, Adewale Aderele, was an alleged guarantor to one of the suspects, who as at the time of filing this report, was still on the run, and gave identities of the suspects as include: Archibong Idorenyin, (34), owner of DAT Cyber Cafe, The police boss disclosed that two of the suspects, 35- year old Shehu Imam, who allegedly forged the Virology Screening test results, Abdulmalik Ibrahim (24) and Moses Sunday (20), who are staff of DAT Internet Café and Popoola Adewale of Patovilki Airport cleaning services.

Daily Times further reports that they allegedly took illicit assignments from the airport to DAT internet cafe for the generation of fake coronavirus certificates and Adeola Darlington of Skyblue Services Ltd, who are now at large.

The Commissioner said the suspects also lure passengers to the airport, where various sums are extorted from them, adding that in the above mentioned incident, they extorted the sum of N50, 000 from their ‘clients’.

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“On Feb. 18, Popoola Adewale and Adeola Darlington, who have access to all the nooks and cranny of the international airport, approached one Michael Osagbogu, who was on queue of a London-bound aircraft and allegedly offered to help him procure COVID-19 certificate.”

“They, however, cornered the passenger to an isolated toilet at the airport, where N50, 000 was extorted from him. Thereafter, the victim was handed over to Shehu Imam, who took him to Archibong Idorenyin, owner of the internet cafe at 4, Oriyomi Street Ikeja.”

The police boss stated that some of the suspects have taken to their heels, assuring that concerted efforts are being made by the combined team of detectives of the Airport Police and Aviation Security (AVSEC), Command to track the runaway suspects. He added that the arrested suspects will soon be charged to court, adding that they (suspects), confessed to the crime and that exhibits, including N50,000 and laptops used to generate the fake coronavirus certificates, were recovered from them.

Bature, however, warned the public to follow due process in obtaining or procuring coronavirus certificates, to avoid unscrupulous syndicates taking advantage of them, stressing that the suspects will appear in court on Friday.

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