A 29-year-old, Ekperebuike Akadonye, has been arrested by the police for allegedly parading himself as the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on the Internet.
Before his arrest, the impersonator had defrauded several persons, including a medical doctor based in Saudi Arabia.
Akadonye was arrested by the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
He had defrauded a Saudi Arabia-based doctor, Hassan Alkahallaf, of $10,000 before his arrest.
Alkahallaf, who had earlier been defrauded by Nigerians on two occasions, was said to have fallen for Akadonye’s trick when he introduced himself as the IG and promised to help him recover his money.
He demanded $10,000 from Alkahallaf to facilitate the legal processes of the recovery and the victim was said to have paid the sum into his account in instalments.
A police source said the doctor contacted Idris through the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Nigeria after realising that he had been duped again.
The source said: “The suspect contacted his victims, including Hassan (Alkahallaf), who is attached to the Department of Urology, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, via an email address, purportedly belonging to IG Ibrahim Idris.
“He claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his fight against corruption, had directed the IG to make refunds to victims who had been defrauded by Nigerians in the past.
“The doctor replied to Akadonye’s emails, believing he was the real IG of the Nigeria Police Force, and he eventually paid him $10,000 in instalments to get back his lost funds.
“He lied to the doctor that he would use the money to hire a lawyer who would represent him since he wasn’t based in Nigeria.”
The IGPIRT in October trailed Akadonye to Imo State, where he hails from, and apprehended him.
The police source added: “A mobile phone and a laptop he used in carrying out the fraud were recovered from him.
“He was also found with ATM cards and an identity card of a Federal Bureau of Investigation officer.
“He is currently being interrogated by operatives of the IG response team.”
Akadonye confessed to the crime in his statement to the police.
He wrote: “I am a trader and I had shops in Mbano, Imo State. But they were demolished by the government. One of my friends introduced me to Internet fraud. I started by searching for prominent persons on the Internet. When I found Dr Alkahallaf, he told me he had some funds trapped in Nigeria and he wanted to claim them. I presented myself to him as the IG and told him the President had mandated me to assist fraudsters’ victims to get back their lost funds. I asked him to pay for a lawyer. He believed and paid me.”