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Ekiti pastor ‘kidnaps self’, demands N3m from congregation

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Adewuyi Adegoke, a pastor at Methodist Church, Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, has been arrested by the police for allegedly organising his own kidnap.

Adegoke had arranged with one Oluwadare Sunday to demand N3 million ransom from his congregation.

He reportedly went into hiding on Sunday evening while there were reports that he was abducted between Esa-Oke in Osun state and Aramoko-Ekiti in Ekiti.

His purported abductors later contacted the church members to demand the ransom, which they insisted must be paid latest by Thursday to prevent the reverend from being killed.

Detectives, however, intercepted the pastor’s accomplice, Sunday, who came to pick up the ransom at Okeyinmi area of Ado-Ekiti, after which he led them to the hotel where the pastor had been hiding.

Detectives reportedly tracked the suspects through the mobile phone that he was using to make contact with the church members.

Amba Asuquo, commissioner of police in Ekiti, confirmed that the command is investigating the incident but refused to disclose the identities of the suspects.

“Yes there is something close to that, but we are still investigating and will come out with the details later,” he told reporters.

When asked if the reverend was among the suspects in custody, Asuquo said, “I know we have some suspects in custody in connection with the incident but I cannot reveal their identities to you now.”

When the news of the reverend’s kidnap broke, several members of his congregation took to social media to solicit support towards his rescue.

On Facebook, one Awoyemi Matthew wrote: “People of God. everywhere. please let us raise prayer altars for this vibrant servant of God. REV Adewuyi Adegoke, who was kidnapped recently between Ekiti and Osun state.”

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Crime

Man arrested for ‘producing fake codeine’ syrups

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A 26 years old man, Emmanuel Peter, has been arrested by the police in Bauchi State for “producing fake codeine.”

According to the police, Mr Peter specialises in the mixing of substances which he packages as codeine and sells to his customers.

The accused was arrested at his hideout in Gwallameji area of Bauchi State, the police said. An accomplice, Victor Oguwu, is now said to be at large.

The police spokesperson, Datti Abubakar, said the suspect was caught in a hotel room at Las Pasca Lodge filling empty bottles with a creamy dark substance that smells like cough syrup.

“Items recovered from Mr Peter and his accomplice comprises 71 bottles of locally produced codeine, 30 bottles of Tutolin, one pot of codeine already awaiting refilling, over a hundred empty scavenged bottles, 60 bottle caps, and 120 sticker tags,” he said.

Mr Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the case is under investigation.

When questioned by journalists, Mr Peter said he was ‘innocently dragged into’ the crime.

According to him, he just graduated after serving his master with the hope of setting up his own pharmacy. He said Mr Oguwu contacted him and said he would provide some drugs to help Mr Peter start his new drug dispensing store.

“I never knew the package I paid N140,000 to collect at the GUO transport terminus was containing yet-to-be bottled syrup,” he said.

‘When I called him to complain, the person who sent it said that was how it is normally supplied that I should find where to get the corking machine to seal the bottles. It was in the process of doing that I was caught and arrested on Thursday, 13th June.”

He could not explain how he was able to gather over 100 empty syrup bottles and the 120 codeine syrup label tags found in his possession.

He pleaded for mercy and admitted he had committed a crime.

The Nigerian government had in 2018 banned the issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations. The government says codeine is being abused as a hard drug by many Nigerians across the country.

Apart from Mr Peter’s arrest, the police in Bauchi also announced the arrest of 50 people for armed robbery, cattle rustling and vehicle snatching in various locations of the state.

The police spokesperson said 30 of them have been charged to court, while investigations are still ongoing in other cases.

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Crime

Nigerian jailed for biggest tax fraud in US

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A Nigerian – Emmanuel Kazeem – who masterminded a plot  to obtain millions in refunds from the United States Internal Revenue Service has been sentenced in Oregon to 15 years imprisonment.

Kazeem, 35, of  Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced in Eugene, on Thursday for a “vast conspiracy” of identity theft and tax fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the convict  bought  personal information (including social security numbers and dates of birth) and used same  to fraudulently file thousands of tax returns on behalf of unwitting victims.

“Emmanuel Kazeem orchestrated one of the largest tax fraud schemes in our nation’s history. The complexity of this case and the incredible effort by law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice cannot be understated,” Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon,said.

Kazeem purchased more than 91,000 stolen identities from a Vietnamese hacker—who pried that information from an Oregon background check company’s private database.

Between  2012 and 2015, Kazeem and his co-conspirators filed over 10,000 fraudulent tax returns in an attempt to get over $91 million in refunds.

Not all of the fake returns were successful—but out of a possible $91 million, Kazeem and his crew still managed to receive more than $11.6 million in refunds.

The lid over Kazeem’s fraudulent activities was blown open in 2013  after  a Medford resident noticed that someone had filed false tax returns on behalf of her and her husband.

She alerted  the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which swung into action and was able to track down  Kazeem.

Kazeem reportedly purchased a $175,000 townhouse and put a $200,000 down payment on a brand new home in Maryland.

He also attempted to develop a $6 million 4-star hotel in Nigeria.

Security agents arrested  Kazeem in May of 2015 and their probe of his background revealed  that he  had also engaged in marriage fraud with a view to staying  in the country after entering on a student visa.

Kazeem was convicted by a federal jury on 19 counts—including mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud—in Medford on August 4, 2017.

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Crime

We can hack into any account, withdraw money from it, even if phone is locked- suspect

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Most Nigerians and mobile phone users all over the globe usually lock their phones , thereby making it difficult for anyone to have access to information in them, particularly their account details. But a suspected telephone hacker who was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ladipo, Lagos, has revealed that such measure does not prevent him and his likes from gaining access into any bank account if they laid their hands on such phones.

Dare-Oladimeji Dare-Oladimeji Surprisingly, the 31-year-old suspect, Dare Oladimeji, is a Senior Secondary School Certificate holder. In this interview with Crime Guard, Oladimeji, a footballer, who just returned from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, having concluded his two years contract with ALAIN FC, said hacking into bank accounts through phones , had nothing to do with being a graduate.

Arrest

Some suspected members of his gang as gathered, had earlier been arrested and charged to court. He was tracked to Idi-Oro area of Lagos, during investigation into the withdrawal of N200,000 from a victim’s account .

Asked if he had any connivance with bank staff, he shook his head, stating rather , that he got the necessary details from Google Chrome.

He boasted that money could be withdrawn from account through stolen sim card, no matter the code used to prevent one from accessing the phone. Hear him: “I work on sim cards to get money. When I lay my hands on any sim card, I would slot it into any small phone that is not android.

When that is done, I would press a code which brings out the list of banks the owner of the sim uses. “For example, if the person is using GTB, I will proceed with the normal code of *37*100#. If the person has money , we would use it to buy recharge card to confirm how much the owner has, through the debit alert that would pop in to reveal the balance.

Thereafter, we would transfer the money into donors accounts, from where we would withdraw the money”.

Asked what happens if phone is locked, he said, “ Locking of phones with password does not stop me from hacking into any account, as long as I can lay my hands on the sim card.

All I need to do is to remove the sim and slot it into a small phone. “The only thing that can prevent me from hacking into account through phone is when the SIM card itself is locked. But most people don’t lock their sim cards, they only lock their phones.

You can only beat my likes to the game if you lock your sim card because only the owner knows the password”.

He stated that he resorted to doing such illicit deal after he lost the money he brought from Dubai.

According to him, “ When I came back from Dubai in 2016, I brought N7 million , out of which I gave one Mr Shola N5 million for a genuine business with NUPENG. Unfortunately, the man died .

We pick SIM cards

“ I decided to venture into this business which is a small version of yahoo yahoo because I didn’t want to go into robbery.

At Idi-Oro, there are pick pockets . When they snatch phones from victims, they would throw the sim cards away. What I do is to go looking for these sim cards and continue from there.

“Nobody taught me the skill. I learnt it from google chrome. This is just common sense. But I regret my action because I have brought shame to my children”, said the father of three.

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