The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit (Taskforce) has arrested two ex-convicts.
This is contained in a statement in Lagos on Thursday by Mr Abdulraheem Gbadeyan, spokesperson of the agency.
The statement said the ex-convicts specialise in defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by pretending to assist them convert dollars to Naira.
According to Gbadeyan, the Chairman of the agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye, confirmed the arrest.
Jejeloye said that the suspects, Abdullahi Mohammed and Victor Etuk, were arrested at Oshodi while trying to defraud another victim.
“The duo were arrested at mid-day while in the process of swindling an unsuspecting lady by asking for directions to a non- existent market and later asked her for a place to change their supposed large sum of dollars.
“She declined but they promised her an iPhone 11 Pro Max and 200,000 Naira, if she could take them to where they could change their dollars.
“Her repeated appeal for them to leave her alone drew the attention of the officers, who swooped in on them and effected arrest,” he said.
The chairman said that Etuk confessed he had been in the practice for more than three years and was arrested during the pandemic by officers of Ago Police Station.
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“He claimed he was convicted in 2020 for seven months after defrauding a woman and his share of the loot was N12,000 but as soon as he got out of jail he went back to the same practice.
“The second suspect, Mohammed is also an ex-convict, who spent six weeks in Badagry Correction Centre after being convicted for other crimes. ” he said.
Jejeloye described the antics of the suspects as an old trick, which has been on for a long time but unfortunately some individuals still fall victim to it.
“We have heard of this method of defrauding people popularly known as “wash-wash” and it is quite unfortunate that it is still being adopted to this very day.
“These two are just part of a larger syndicate who still engage in this practice and we will ensure that they are all fished out and brought to book, ” he further said.
The agency’s boss appealed to Lagos residents to be vigilant especially in crowded areas, where people like the arrested ex-convicts lurk and search for who to defraud.
He urged Lagos residents to alert the Police or any security agency once anything suspicious takes place around them.
Jejeloye promised to intensify efforts to ensure that miscreants and hoodlums were taken off the streets for the safety and serenity of all.
“The agency will leave no stone unturned this year and anyone engaging in crimes or criminality will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
According to him, the two suspects will be charged to court accordingly.