The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, and the Nigeria Police Force have arrested a British national for allegedly duping some Nigerian stockfish importers of over $800,000 on the pretext of supplying them stockfish from Iceland.
The Briton (name withheld), said to be in his sixties, is now with the police at Alagbon close where investigations on his case had been concluded and may soon be charged accordingly.
The British national was arrested in Cotonou by the Interpol when he was about to defraud Obina Echianu of $5,500 on the pretext of supplying him stockfish from Iceland
According to sources at the NSC, trouble started for the fraudster when Echianu notified one of his colleagues in the stock fish business of his intention to remit N$5,500 to his new agent for the supply of the commodity from the European country.
Echianu was discouraged to continue with the transaction when he gave the name of his new agent to his colleague who had once been duped by the Briton.
Instead of remitting the money as demanded by the Briton, Echianu requested that they should meet in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, for the money.
At that stage, a group of seven stockfish importers including Echianu, who were the earlier victims of the Briton’s fraudulent activities petitioned the NSC, which later invited the Police INTERPOL to look into the matter.
The letter from the council to the police was signed by MS A.N.Ogo who asked for assistance in the arrest of the fraudster in Republic of Benin
“We wish to forward to you the complaint from a group of Aba-based importers of stock fish against a Briton. Please assist urgently because this man has continued to contact other Nigerians to use them as agents and to further obtain monies through fraudulent means by pretending to invest in stock fish business or to sell stock fish to them from Iceland, where the council for trade and tourism has warned dealers of stock fish not to transact business with him any longer. We have recently received information that this man is making moves to obtain the sum of N$5,500 from Obinna Echianu under false pretence.
“They have arranged to meet in Cotonou on Saturday,15 September, 2012. We plead with you to do everything you can to stop this man from defrauding Nigerian businessmen. The man appears to be a Briton,” Ogo alerted the police in the petition sent to the Inspector General of Police on 13 September.
The suspect was eventually arrested when a team from the council and the Nigeria Police Force, accompanied Echianu to Cotonou.
They arrested him when he was about to receive money from Echianu in a hotel as planned and was transferred to Lagos for interrogation.
Police sources said that the police had since contacted the British Authorities which later dispatch some officials to Nigeria to confirm the arrest of their national and to offer him legal advice as he will soon be arraigned in court.