A suspected cyber crime syndicate was last Saturday busted by the Achimota Mile 7 Police in Accra. In all, 29 suspects, all Nigerians, were arrested in an early morning swoop on a house at Alhaji Tabora in Accra.
Retrieved from the suspects were 34 laptops and 48 mobile phones they allegedly used in committing crimes.
The suspects are also linked to a dead body that was found wrapped at the Apenkwa neighbourhood two weeks ago.
The suspects are aged from 21 to 30.
Another suspect, Peter Konadu Frimpong, 34, who was on top of a storey building videoing the police action, was also arrested.
Among the suspects rounded up were Ike Ogu, 24; Ike Iduozi, 23; Blessing Adebayo, 25; Awudu Abdul Razak, 23; Daley Emmanuel, 26; Moses Madjaki, 30; Onaghnise Osahou, 24; Peter Andrews,25; Benjamin Akumeze, 25; Kelvin Osayi, 23; Oforufemi Adrigu, 25, Anthony Irughe, 22 and Kelvin Uche, 22.
Others were Timothy Irughe, 22; Elvis Uzeogbu, 24; Owen Zakari, 24; Joe Steve Obozu, 29; Festus Owubu, 25; Abraham Femi, 24; Suleman Abudu, 25; Abraham Femi, 24; Age Michael, 25; Philip Aghariaha, 25; Nathaniel Owobu, 27; Teddy Atigbin, 23; Henry Onege, 27; Daniel Ukuokolo, 21; Osas Uhuns, 22; Kelvin Ola, 23, Lucky Osahou,21 and Yakubu Dido, 26.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Osabarima Oware Asare Pinkro II, said the police, acting on a tip-off, kept the house under surveillance before conducting the swoop.
He said the police met almost all the suspects busily engaged in fraudulent cyber activities during the swoop around 7 a.m. last Saturday.
“The suspects were all living in one big house where they undertake their nefarious activities,” he added.
Link to dead body
On the dead body found at Apenkwa which was linked to the suspected cyber fraudsters, DCOP Pinkro said a search on the body revealed that the victim had been killed somewhere and dumped at the place.
Information gathered by the police indicated that the deceased was one of the Nigerian suspects who had gone missing.
“The information was that he was beaten to death and wrapped and dumped there for leaking the group’s activities to a third party whom we cannot name. They saw it as a betrayal. We are investigating this case, in addition to the cyber crime cases,” he said.
The suspects will be put before court today, pending further police investigations.
In a related development, the Accra Regional Police Command, on March 10, 2017, simultaneously carried out swoops in all 14 of its divisions in parts of the city believed to be dens of criminals.
In the process, 112 suspects were arrested in areas including Adenta, the Odorkor Market, Kwashieman, Gbawe, Anyaa, Sowutuom and its environs, the Achimota Charcoal Station, Aborfu, the Santana Market, the Abeka Market, Kissieman, Akweteman, the Madina Market, the Redco Flats, Madina Zongo, the Madina Lorry Station, Madina Firestone, Adabraka, Tuobodom at Adabraka, the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Accra New Town.
Apart from the items, including electronic gadgets, retrieved from the suspects, the police found wrapped substances suspected to be Indian hemp.
At Accra New Town, for instance, the police collected 179 wrapped dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, 61 wrapped whitish substances suspected to be narcotic drugs and 65 wrapped rock-like material suspected to be narcotic drugs.
Commenting on the suspected narcotic drugs seized, DCOP Osabarima Pinkro said: “It tells you the danger of people abusing drugs in the city. This is a contributory factor to the violent crimes, including murder, suicide and robbery.”
He said it was, therefore, important that the police conducted those swoops to get rid of criminals to make the communities safer.
“Police work thrives on information. What we want the public to do is provide us with information. They should give us information on the hideouts of these criminals. They know them; they live with some of them. If possible, they should come to me personally,” he appealed.
He urged the public to erase the perception that when they reported crime to the police, the police would turn around to reveal the identities of the informants to the criminals.