The State Security Service has arrested a 35-year-old man, Dennison Onwuka, for attempted fraud and being in possession of $1.5m in fake currency.
The suspect was also accused of superimposing his photograph on that of some dignitaries to portray himself as a member of the inner caucus of President Goodluck Jonathan as well as a close ally of prominent business moguls in the country, including Aliko Dangote.
According to SSS, Onwuka claimed to be an agent of business mogul, Mike Adenuga, with the intention of defrauding one Livinus Yakubu, a Dubai-based businessman.
The Director, SSS, Lagos, Ben Achu-Olayi, said Onwuka had met with Yakubu in Dubai before and had discussed a business proposal but Onwuka deviated from the deal and later brought up a business of authenticating fake dollars.
PUNCH Metro learnt that it was at this point that Yakubu became suspicious and immediately alerted the agency.
Achu-Olayi said, “On January 5, 2013, Yakubu reported that Onwuka, a purported agent of Adenuga, planned to invest $7m in real estate. Onwuka, having met Yakubu in Dubai recently, invited Yakubu to Nigeria to participate in the business transaction. Instead of proceeding with the business, Onwuka introduced the issue of having $3.5m which was stamped all over.
“He told Yakubu that he needed $30,000 to purchase chemicals to wash the money which would erase all the stamps and the money would be spendable.”
The SSS persuaded Yakubu to go on with the deal as planned while undercover agents monitored closely.
“Under close surveillance at Camelot Hotel, Victoria Island, where Onwuka was scheduled to collect the $30,000, the suspect was arrested with fake money to the tune of $1.5m”, the SSS boss said.
Operatives however learnt that the case was just one of many of Onwuka’s scams. It was discovered during a search of his chalet at Travel House Hotel, Ajah that the suspect was in possession of fake government documents as well as 12 manipulated photographs of the suspect, with dignitaries such as President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, former president Olusegun Obasanjo among others.
The SSS director said, “Investigation has revealed that Onwuka is an international fraudster who specialized in the act of forging signatures of top government officials. Also, he engages in superimposing his photograph on that of dignitaries to portray himself to be a member of the inner-caucus of President Jonathan as well as a close ally of prominent business moguls in the country.”
In a related development, the SSS paraded a former senatorial aspirant, Azeez Bello,for impersonating the Director of Operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Olaolu Adegbite, as well as attempting to defraud the wife of the Abia State Governor, Mercy Orji.
According to SSS, the suspect with two others at large impersonated the EFCC boss and attempted to blackmail Orji on the pretext that the commission was investigating her for purported financial offences.