The investigation panel set up by the Abia State Police Command to investigate cases of fraud, illegal cooperative societies and financial institutions in the state has arrested 18 suspects and recovered about N7.9m.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Ezike, noted that the panel was inaugurated following complaints from Abia residents at police stations in the state about activities of the suspected fraudsters.
He stated in a statement sent to our correspondent on Saturday that the command would write the Central Bank of Nigeria to ascertain whether the institutions run by the suspects were qualified to do carry out transactions in Nigeria.
The statement added, “One week after the panel relocated to Abia, it made a remarkable process by arresting 18 suspects and recovering 933,900.00 from them.
“Investigation is ongoing and our legal consultation has expanded to ensure that our decisions are prudent, satisfy public policy and ensure justice for all.”I commend the chairman and members of the panel for their professional service and display of the high level of integrity.”
One of the suspects identified only as Vitus told SUNDAY PUNCH that his wife was the one who operated a cooperative society scheme.
He said the business crashed when some of her customers who benefited from it refused to pay back for others to be paid.
Vitus added, “I warned her to desist from the business, but she didn’t listen to me. I suspected that the scheme might land her in trouble one day and now my fears have been confirmed.’’
“I was arrested because the police accused me of attempting to withdraw money from one of my wife’s bank accounts. I have pleaded with the police to release my wife and me with our seven-month-old baby on bail for us to get money to pay her creditors but they refused.’’