Businessman duped of N14m in Dangote’s name

Posted by News Express | 14 May 2018 | 1,642 times

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•IGP Ibrahim Idris

A businessman, Chief Amehinola Loto, has run to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Sabo, in charge of Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Alagbon, Lagos State, after he was swindled of over N14 million by suspected fraudsters. According to Loto, the men who defrauded him were six, including a white man and a lawyer.

The fraudsters, operating at the Ajah area of Lagos, were allegedly able to suck Loto into their scam by using the name of Africa’s richest, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Loto’s expectation that he would get justice when he gets to the police crumpled when the alleged ringleader of the syndicate, Mr. John Dion (a lawyer), swaggered out of Alagbon, a few hours after his arrest. Loto disclosed that Dion, before his arrest, had warned him not to bother going to the police because the matter wouldn’t see the light of day.

Loto said that he was not sure why the commissioner released Dion just hours after his arrest, instead of using him to catch other members of the syndicate. The complainant disclosed that aside from obtaining over N14 million from him under false pretences, the syndicate was presently threatening his life. Trouble for Loto started on February 18, after he received a text message from Ubong.

The sender, posing as Engineer Mark Kingsley Ubong Akpan, asked him if he had received any message from Dangote Group of Companies, Head of Legal Department. He explained that Dangote’s company, operating in Ajah, was interested in buying Loto’s shopping complex, located at Shongotedo area of Ajah. Incidentally, Loto had plans to sell the complex, because, “the tenants there had been giving me trouble. I had to take them to court.

It was through a court order they were ejected.” However, not all the tenants were satisfied with their ejection, a particular tenant, identified as Mark, miffed at the manner Loto ejected them, allegedly conspired with the white man and others to defraud his landlord. Loto was invited for a business discussion. The syndicate told him that Dangote wanted to lease his complex for 10 years at the rate of N30 million per annum.

Loto, who knew that Dangote has a company in that axis, fell for the scam. He was further impressed by the appearance of a white man as a member of the team. He was told that he would have to pay ‘equity’ to facilitate the contract. He said he didn’t have such an amount of money.

The men then promised to take him to a merchant bank for a loan. He, however, has to pay 10 percent of one billion in order to get a loan from the bank. Loto recalled: “The truth is that immediately I went to that office with them, I wasn’t myself anymore. It took prayers for me to come back to my senses. I sold my car and borrowed money from many people to raise over N14 million.

They gave me different accounts to wire in the money. I did.” When it was time to give him the loan, the men told him that they would print the money for him. Loto recalled: “After I paid them the equity contributions, barrister took me to their office at Akodo and showed me many equipments. He said they have printed INEC materials and that they were using it to print money.

He said that was where they would print money for me. It was then I realised I had been defrauded. I called them fraudsters to their faces. That was when they started threatening to kill me.

They forced me into a toilet, where the white man brought out a pistol and ordered that whatever they asked me, I should be saying yes. The barrister started asking me questions and filming my responses.

He later told me that he did it so that he would use it against me if the matter became a legal one. They said they would get a loan for me from a merchant bank, but I have to get 10 percent equity contributions. It was after I paid the money that he took me to Akodo area to their office.” Loto added: “Although I came with people, barrister asked them to stay outside.

I was taken to an office and asked to kneel down. A camera was on. I noticed that the white man had a pistol. I thought they were going to kill me. They said I should say yes to whatever they asked me.

They said that I came to them to wash and change papers into money, I said yes.” Later, the syndicate told him that they would release the video of his coming to ask them to turn papers into money on the internet if he tries anything stupid.

It was learnt that Dion was arrested on Wednesday and allowed to leave that same day by Sabo in circumstances yet unclear. Dion was supposed to show up on Friday but didn’t. When Dion was contacted, he said that Loto came to ask them to do something illegal. And that whatever money the victim lost in the process was gone.

He added that taking the matter to police or media wouldn’t achieve anything. When Ubong was contacted, he said he didn’t know what our correspondent was talking about. When Sabo was called to confirm the incident and find out why Dion was released immediately, he didn’t pick his calls and didn’t reply the text message sent to him.

Text (excluding headline sourced from New Telegraph

Source: News Express

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