Police Arrest Three Members of Job Recruitment Syndicate
The Police says it has arrested a three-man syndicate that specialised in fake recruitment exercise by faking staff of the Universal Rescue Response Support Foundation (URRSF), an arm of the United Nations.
Members of the gang had swindled applicants of the sum of N7million before they were arrested.
Making the announcement on Friday, CSP Frank Mba, the force public relations officer, gave the names of the suspects as Lemmy Odogwu, 35, Michael Abraham, 45, and Innocent Prosper, 35.
Mba, who named Abraham as the leader of the syndicate, claimed that URRSF belonged to the Economic and Social Council of the UN, and that the Police swung into action and arrested the suspects following complaints by the UN Chief Security Officer in Nigeria that a recruitment scam was using the name of the world body.
'The police, acting on the report by Chief Security Officer of the UN based in Nigeria, commenced investigation into the reported case of a recruitment scam going on in the country', he said.
'On receiving that complaint, the inspector-general of police promptly directed the INTERPOL unit of the Force CID to commence investigation. In the course of investigation, it was discovered that indeed, an organisation that styled itself as URRSF, which equally claimed to be an affiliate of the UN, has been hoodwinking innocent young Nigerians'.
He said the fake organisation claimed to be a paramilitary organisation with capacity to operate on land, air and water and alleged further that the syndicate swindled innocent applicants on the pretext that they were being recruited and trained to work as rescue and field officers for the UN.
He said that the syndicate had set up illegal training camps in Lagos, Ekiti, Cross River and Imo states. 'So far, an estimated sum of N7 million has been extorted from their various victims; the website being used by the syndicate is www.univesalrescuecorps.com', he confirmed.
'Companies and organisations are advised to continuously maintain strategic surveillance on their website so that their websites are not being cloned. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious job advertisements, suspicious recruitment centres and other related crimes to the police or security agencies'.
According to the spokesman, the Police recovered items, including 181 copies of unfilled recruitment forms with UN logo and 20 photographs of URRSF members in paramilitary uniforms, booklets containing list of recruitment and phone numbers of intending members of URRSF and a Toyota Jeep with registration number, BG151AA.
Mba quoted Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr Mohammed Abubakar as commending personnel of the FCID, Interpol Unit, who handled the matter for their dedication and professionalism.
Parading the suspects before journalists, Mba said Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, was using the opportunity to warn citizens of the country against having anything to do with the fake URRSF as it was not part of the UN. He said the suspects would be immediately arraigned on charges of criminal conspiracy, impersonation, cheating and forgery.
Abraham told journalists that he approached the UN Office in Lagos in 2012 for assistance to float an NGO on voluntary services. 'I was told to go back and that whatever I intend to do, I should register with the Government of Nigeria and after one year, I should return for an assessment', he said.
He apologised for embarrassing the organisation, saying it was unintentional. 'I felt that we are supporting the work of the UN in the place of Millennium Development Goals. I never knew this will cause the UN all this embarrassment', he added.
'Sincerely speaking, I am very sorry and I want to apologise to UN, I am sorry, it was not criminally intended, we just want to serve humanity and that is just all'.
Prosper also confessed that he was motivated to join the fake organisation because of its attachment to the international organisation.