The Police in Lagos have arrested a middle-aged man, Ramoni Raji aka Yakubu Lawal, for allegedly impersonating the Superintendent of Customs (SC) and Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC) to defraud unsuspecting members of the public in respect of bogus customs auction sales.
Operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of Lagos State Police Command had arrested Raji.
His arrest followed a petition from one Mrs. Uche to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Kayode Aderanti.
In the petition, she accused Raji of swindling her of N80,000 while posing as a Customs Officer under the pretext that he and his gang would procure customs auction vehicles for her. The police boss, therefore, detailed the SARS team to investigate the matter and arrest the culprit.
Raji was arrested on February 17, 2015. He confessed to other crimes committed by him.
He named other members of his gang whom the police subsequently arrested.
Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer Keneth Nwosu, who confirmed the arrest, said Raji posed as a Customs Officer; one Adekunle Thomas posed as his driver while one Ibrahim provided the bank account where the victim paid in the money.
Investigations revealed that Raji had told the victim that he was the Customs officer in charge of auctioning.
He claimed to be a Superintendent of Customs at one time and Chief Superintendent of Customs at another time.
He claimed to be the Officer-in-Charge of Auctioning vehicles and containerized goods.
He was said to have taken the victims to Apapa Wharf and Tin Can Island Ports, Lagos to show them goods and vehicles allegedly meant for auctioning.
They duped Mrs. Uche, a businesswoman to the tune of 800,000 with a promise to give her Toyota Highlander Jeep, the Police said. The woman was said to have paid the money through Galadima’s First Bank Account.
He was arrested on February 17, while his confession to SARS led to the arrest of Usman Ibrahim in Gowon Estate.
According to the police, Raji was Shitu Musa when he wore CSC rank, and Yakubu Lawal when he wore the uniform and rank of DSC.
Raji, 63, however, confessed thus: “I’m from Okene, Kogi State. I was working in Five Star Textile Mill, Isolo between 1984 and 1998. I was sacked when I fought the Indian man when he said that I damaged the machine I operate. I’m married with nine children. I had three wives, but I have dumped two for misbehaving.
“I live at 11, Morolayo Street, Ipaja. I live in a 3-bedroom flat and paid N220, 000 per annum. My youngest child is 14 years old. I can’t remember the age of my first child. I’m not a Customs officer. I decided on my own to buy Customs uniform and have been using it for business”.