The Ogun State Police Command has uncovered a “fraudsters’ den” at Pokuku Village in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state.
The den, which was nicknamed “Pokuku Shrine” was until Wednesday allegedly used by suspected fraudsters to carry out different forms of criminal activities such as fraud, according to the police, Punch reports.
The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu, on Wednesday said the police raided the shrine after an intelligence report on criminal activities being perpetrated there.
The shrine, which is a two-bedroom mud house, is located in the remote part of the village. It contained effigies, fake foreign and local currencies and other fetish objects.
Ilyasu said the shrine was raided by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, and one of the suspected fraudsters who was said to be the ring leader, Haruna Moshood, was arrested, while three other accomplices escaped.
The police boss said many victims had been duped by the fraudsters, who were also said to be kidnappers.
“This is a house of horror where different kinds of criminal activities had taken place.
“Following diligent and intelligent information of our special operatives, FSARS stormed this horror house and we discovered that it is a receiving end of kidnapped victims.
“It is also a place where suspected kidnappers dispose property of their victims. We have been able to recover different denominations of fake dollars and nairas.
“By the time we arrived here, we did not see any victim, and some of the suspected kidnappers escaped. However, we were able to arrest one of the leaders, identified as Haruna Moshood.
“I appeal to the state residents to be cautious so that they will not become preys in the hands of criminally-minded people.”
The suspect told Punch Metro that he and other members of his gang were into fraudulent activities, adding that their victims were people looking for quick money.
Moshood said one of them usually hid in one of the rooms and would be talking as an “oracle” to deceive their victims. He said the effigies were also there to deceive their victims.
“We always play on the greed of the victims because they were looking for quick money.
“Again, we also study how wealthy they were by telling them to bring a certain amount of money. For instance, if we ask a victim to bring N100,000 and he brought it, that shows he or she could bring a higher amount.”
The 34-year-old Moshood said he just joined the gang in 2015.