?By Praise Agbro, Lagos

The suspects

Two mobile phone fraudsters have been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting members of the public through an online platform.

Chukwu-Emeka Ogbona and Olabode Kehinde, who were arrested separately, were members of a syndicate that specialised in selling fake phones to buyers.

It was gathered that the suspects’ mode of operation was to advertise expensive phones at a cheaper rates on an online platform, Jiji.com, lure their victims and dispossess them of their valuables.

It was learnt that the suspects used to lure their victims to Olowu Street in the Ikeja area of the state after convincing them on the online platform, and fraudulently collect money from the intending buyers after showing them the real phones, which they would later substitute with fake ones.

The suspects, who are also phone technicians at the Computer Village, confessed to having sold fake mobile phones to unsuspecting buyers and return fake money to their victims after collecting the real money from them.

One of the suspects, Ogbona, claimed that one Ibrahim, the alleged gang leader, usually advertise on Jiji.com and supply them with the real and fake phones.

He said, “The iPhone X was advertised for N155,000 and the buyer negotiated for N120,000, but because I knew what I wanted to sell to him, I encouraged him to meet me at Olowu after changing the meeting location twice so as to ensure that we were not being baited by the police.

“I showed him the real iPhone X, while the fake phone was in my back pocket. I took the real phone from him for us to conclude the transaction. Meanwhile, I had arranged with other gang members to come around and distract the buyer and create room for me to swap the real iPhone X with the fake version