Dollars.

Paul Iyoghojie

The Police at the Area ‘A’ Command, Lagos Island, Lagos have arrested two suspected fraudsters and dragged them before a Lagos Magistrate’s Court for allegedly exchanging fake US20,000 with original US20, 000 with a customer at a banking hall on Lagos Island.

Trouble started for the accused persons, Ali Muhammed, 44, a resident of 22, Ambali Street, Idi-araba, Mushin, Lagos and Olasunkanmi Ogunremi, 39, who lives at 13,Avis Street, Lawanson Lagos when they called the complainant, a bureau de change operator, Sunday Ipade on phone and told him that they needed the sum of US20, 000 to buy to transact urgent business and directed him to bring the dollars for them at a banking hall located on Broad Street, Lagos Island.

Police further alleged that as the complainant got to the banking hall, he handed over the original US20, 000 to the accused persons after they agreed to by a dollar for N361 unknown to him that the transaction was a fraud.

Police alleged that instead of the accused persons to pay the N361 they agreed with the complainant, they further reduced the price of a dollar to N359 and the complainant insisted that he could only sell a dollar for N361 and an argument broke out.

Police said that in the ensuing altercations, the accused persons cleverly in a jiffy exchanged the original US20,000 with fake US20,000 and gave it back to the complainant with the excuse that they could only buy a dollar for N359 and the complainant in annoyance left them and went away unknown to him that the dollars the accused gave back to him were fake.

The complainant, after realizing that he had been duped, reported the incident to the Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP incharge of Area ‘A’ Command, Lagos who directed his team led by ASP Tunji Tijani to fish out the suspects and the police team tracked the suspects to their respective residences and arrested them.

The accused were charged before the Igbosere chief Magistrate Court, Lagos on a three count charge of stealing.

Police Counsel, Chinedu Njoku told the court in charge NO B/49/2019 that the accused tricked the complainant to bring the sum of US20,000 for them to buy and they duped the complainant by exchanging fake dollars with the original one the complainant gave to them and gave the fake US20,000 back to the complainant and escaped before they were arrested.

He said the offences committed were punishable under section 411, 287 (7) and 329 (1) (c) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to charges in the open court and Chief Magistrate, Folashade Botoku granted them N1m bail each with two sureties each in the like sum.

Botoku adjourned the case till 9 October, 2019 for mention and ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Ikoyi, Prison, Lagos till they perfected the bail conditions.