By; Patrick Titus, Uyo.
Many days for the thief but one day is for the owner, so goes an old aziom. This saying played out for group of syndicates in Akwa Ibom state who are cooling their feet in detention at the State Police Command Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia in Uyo.
These syndicates included those who specialize in printing fake GSM recharge cards of major network and another, who use their vehicles or Keke (tricycles) to dupe innocent passengers of their valuables.
When arrested by the Police, fake recharge cards recovered from the first group of suspects valued at N253, 300 in different denominations namely, MTN N71,600, Airtel N105,800, Etisalat N39,900 and Glo N36,000.
Parading the two groups of suspects at the Command Headquarters before newsmen, Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Murtala Mani, said the Command made the break owing to information volunteered to the Police by members of the public and other intelligent information on criminal activities of these persons.
The Commissioner who was represented by ASP Onyeka Orji, a former Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, said that the Police remained irrevocably committed to ensuring a peaceful and crime-free society.
He charged members of the public to always be conscious of the Keke or vehicles they board, and report people with suspicious undertaking to the Police.
The Commissioner warned those with criminal tendencies to repent of their acts or relocate from the state.
Confessing to the crime, one of the suspects, Mr. Benson Thompson Udo, 55 years old, affirmed his involvement in the business of using Keke to dupe their innocent passengers of their belongings
“I am here because of the 419 business I did. We used Keke to do it; we will excuse our victim and deceived him or her that we bring goods from Cameroon and pretended not to know our destination to supply the goods here in Uyo.
“I will tell the victim that I will supply the goods to him or her on demand. In one of the days of doing the business, we walked into the Police trap and we were arrested along Oron Road in Uyo”, Benson stated.
Corroborating Benson’s confession, Mr. Enefiok Okon Essien, 23 years old that identified himself as the Keke rider said, “I come from Afaha Ibesikpo, I am here because of a 419 business; I am the one that used to ride the Keke, this man (Benson) will do the business of talking with passengers.”
Also narrating why he was at the Police Headquarters, Etini Solomon 21, who specializes in printing of fake GSM recharge cards said, “I bought a product worth N25, 000.00 from Itohowo which I did not know that it was invalid.”
But, Itohowo Donald, 22, denied ever selling recharge cards to Etini, saying that, he met the said Etini on the 29th of last month at College of Education, Afaha Nsit during the JAMB examinations.
His words, “I followed a friend to College of Education at Afaha Nsit where I met Etini who was writing JAMB, but I was sitting outside. After the exams my friend introduced him to me where we exchanged phone numbers. So on the 9th of this month I had a called only to latter realized that it was a Police Officer from Area ‘A’, I was told Etini gave him a flash drive that is used for printing fake recharge cards. I have never sold cards before, I have never known Etini before now; except at College of Education during the JAMB examinations”, he said.
The Commissioner assured that other members of syndicates on the run would be arrested by the Police and brought to face the full weight of the law.