The Bayelsa State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has confirmed the arrest of four of its personnel over their alleged involvement in fraudulent activities.
The accused officers currently being investigated allegedly abducted two young men suspected of being fraudsters popularly known as ‘Yahoo Boys’ and extorted N20 million from them.
The personnel are said to have stormed the residence of the suspected fraudsters who had just returned from Ghana and whisked them away with blindfolds to an unknown hotel in Azikoro town on Monday.
Naija News learnt that the officers threatened to kill the duo if they refused to part with N50 million, claiming someone from Ghana accused them of theft.
It was gathered that the suspected fraudsters later agreed to part with N20 million.
The command said the arrested Police personnel confessed that the two civilian accomplices now at large, one Eyi Mattthew Excel, who contested the last State House of Assembly elections under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State and one Mayor Goodluck Arab, were set up for the extortion scam.
The officers acknowledged they followed the suspected fraudsters to two commercial banks, where they received two separate transfers of N7m and N13m.
It was gathered that a friend of the suspected internet fraudsters, who learnt about their ordeals, decided to report the matter to one of the publicised phone numbers of the Nigerian Police Zonal headquarters, and it attracted the attention of the top hierarchy of Zonal Police headquarters.
Leadership quoted a source close to the Command as saying that the AIG Zone 16, Benjamin Okolo, ordered the arrest of the accused officers, and additional facts revealed that their action was without the knowledge of their superior officers.
“They were not members of a team. They work at various units but do shady deals together. In the past, they were nearly killed by some Military officers along Agbura road in Ogbia Local Government Area, where they mounted illegal roadblocks to extort oil bunkerers.
“The accused Police personnel have returned the N2.5million they each made from the Yahoo Boys extortion deal, while Eyi Mattthew Excel is reported to have returned his share of the deal but is still at large, Mayor Goodluck Arab was arrested and granted bail, but he has absconded,” the source stated.
Giving further details on the incident on Wednesday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Zone 16 Command, SP Ikwo Kevin, admitted that some internet fraudsters known as Yahoo Boys defrauded some foreigners of a sum of $28,000, which errant Policemen went after them and got them arrested.
“The fraudsters confessed to the crime and pleaded for leniency but instead of them to do the needful, they compromised by collecting monies from them, so when the AIG got wind of the matter, he ordered for their arrest and detention.
“Information we got was that the Police got N10 million while the informant also got N10 million of his own share, but has eventually returned N7.5 million from his hideout and is still on the run.
“The monies they got were also recovered while the investigation is still on,” SP Ikwo stated.