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Police hunt for buyer of stolen baby in Lagos community

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By Sodiq Adelakun

The police in Lagos State are currently searching for the individual who purchased a stolen baby from a house help in the Shomolu area of the state.

SP Benjamin Hundeyin, the police spokesperson in the state, confirmed on Monday that the buyer left the baby at Alade Market in Shomolu as the police closed in on them.

The intense manhunt and pressure from the police likely led to the buyer’s decision to abandon the baby.

“In the early hours of Monday, the buyer abandoned the baby at Alade Market, Shomolu, because of an intense manhunt and pressure from the police.

“The baby was promptly rescued by the police. She has been handed over to her parents after they positively identified her,” Hundeyin stated.

An X (formerly Twitter) user, simply identified as @Simmm_K raised an alarm in a Saturday post that a house help absconded with the baby belonging to her boss.

“A house help ran away with my colleague’s baby this Saturday morning between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. in Shomolu,’’ the user posted.

@Simmm_K, who shared the picture of the teenage house help and the baby, appealed to the police and members of the public to help to find the baby.

She also posted a telephone number to be reached whenever or wherever the house help or baby was found.

She later updated the post stating that the house help had been arrested at Ikorodu, but without the baby.

According to Simmm_K, the house help confessed to have sold the baby for N800,000.

Simmm_K further updated her post that the baby had been found in the early hours on Monday.

“I’m glad to notify everyone that the baby was found this morning at Shomolu.

“Many thanks to everyone and the police for helping. The baby is united with the family,” she posted.

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Crime

Custom seizes smuggled petrol worth N36.9m in Adamawa

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Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), Adamawa/Taraba Area Command has intercepted smuggled Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) worth N36.9 million Duty Paid Value (DPV), between Nigeria-Cameroon borderlines in six weeks.

Garba Bashir, the Command’s Comptroller disclosed this  on Friday in Yola, at a news conference on anti-smuggling activities.

He attributed the successes recorded to the unwavering backing and encouragement by NCS Management under the leadership of Bashir Adeniyi.

“The seized goods include 43,935 Litres of PMS packed in 1,071×25 L jerry cans and 85 x 200L drums.

“Others are one used Tricycle, one used Motorcycle and two used vehicles with one having a hidden compartment, the means of conveyance of some of the seized PMS.’’ he said.

According to him, in spite of the PMS subsidy removal,  smuggling from Nigeria into the neighbouring countries still flourishes due to strong fuel demand.

He added that the demand created a lucrative market for illegal exports of this product to these countries by selfish Nigerians to fill the supply gaps for personal gain.

“These economic saboteurs are prepared to do whatever it takes to maintain their hold. Meanwhile, the NCS, most especially Adamawa/Taraba area Command has been diligently reviewing and strengthening its robust measures to combat this illicit trade.

“We want to make it clear to the smugglers that we will counter every move they make and we will not relent in this anti-smuggling crusade until we bring smuggling activities to ground zero in Adamawa and Taraba states,’’ he said.

Bashir, who said the fight against smuggling activities was for the good of everyone, urged the  public to support their efforts by  reporting  any suspicious activities.

“Together, we can combat smuggling and promote economic growth,’’he said.

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Crime

Police have confirmed that gunmen abducted former Ekiti State University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olaofe.

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Prof. Femi Olaofe, a former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Ekiti State University Ado-Ekiti, (EKSU), has been reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen, and whisked to undisclosed location.

Reports that Olaofe, a native of Are-Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti, was a Professor of Industrial Chemistry before his recent retirement from the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.

The Police Command in Ekiti, on Friday,  confirmed the abduction and promised to unmask the perpetrators of the act.

In an interview with newsmen, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeniran Akinwale, said “the truth is that the Prof was actually kidnapped, quietly from his house.

” The professor lives alone with only the guard. Quietly, because it was one small girl that saw the vehicle that moved out from the gate with speed that alerted people on the day of the incident, that should be in the night.

” They moved out, and before police would get wind of it, they had gone.

“We have started working on it. The man has no wife at present because his wife died. His children are not here. We are tracking them.

” We have recovered the vehicle of the professor which they used to whisk him away from his house.

“We recovered it on Afao road in the night. We are trailing the professor with the culprits.

” By the special grace of God, we are going to rescue the man unhurt”

A member of the former DVC’s family, who craved anonymity,  said that his abductors had made contact and demanded N50 million ransom.

The Are- Ekiti Development Association (ÀŔEDAA), an umbrella body of social groups in the town, has pleaded for Olaofe’s safety in the hands of those who seized him on Thursday night.

The social group, charged the Police Command to do everything humanly possible, to secure the release of the retired professor.

Also, residents of Ekiti State Housing Estate, Ado- Ekiti, where the abducted don’s house is located, are also expressed concern for his safety.

A neighbour said that the professor only returned to Ado Ekiti on Monday after a short visit to Lagos, where he had gone to see his children.

” We saw him last on Monday when he returned from his trip to Lagos. We greeted, and exchanged pleasantries.

“We also saw his gateman, who lives with him. As a retired Professor, his house is always very calm and always quiet.

“We have been neighbours for a long time. Anytime he drives out he will always wait to say hello.

” On the fateful day however, we noticed that the gate of his house was left opened. This was strange, because the gate is always closed.

“We approached the gate with the intention to call the security man to close the gate. We called the security man, there was no answer.

” We later struggled to make our way into the living room, and as we got closer, we noticed the door to the living room was widely opened. We shouted Professor, thrice, but there was no response.

” We decided to go around the compound, and yet we couldn’t find anyone. At this point we became suspicious that something had happened.

“We thereafter, decided to approach the Divisional Police Station, Housing Estate, where we made a report. The police saw sense, and reason in our agitations, and quickly swung into action”.

Speaking further, the source said;
” We only got to know that some kidnappers came to his house on Thursday and demanded for the key to his car.

” We also learnt that he was taken away in the car, along with his security man.”

Meanwhile, some Executives of Are-Ekiti Development Association (ÀŔEDAA), led by the President, James Adebayo, have met with the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Mr Adeniran Akinwale on the development.

Adebayo said that the team conveyed to the CP the apprehension of the traditional ruler, Alare of Are-Ekiti, Oba Boluade Adebiyi, ÀŔEDAA, and the entire people of Are Ekiti for the safety of the retired don.

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Crime

POS fraud cases rise by 31.12% in Q1 2024

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The prevalence of fraud and forgery in Nigeria’s payment system has shown a significant shift in the first quarter of 2024, with Point-of-Sale (POS) transactions experiencing the highest increase in fraudulent activities.

According to the Fraud and Forgeries Report in Nigerian Banks for the first quarter of 2024 by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), POS fraud cases surged by 31.12 percent in Q1 2024.

In Q4 2023, there were 2,683 reported cases of fraud associated with POS terminals. However, this number escalated to 3,518 cases by Q1 2024.

POS fraud cases made up 30.67 percent of the total fraud cases (11,472) recorded in the quarter under review.

While there was a rise in fraud cases, the amount of money involved in POS fraud declined.

In Q4 2023, the total amount involved in POS fraud was N604.91 million. This amount decreased by 37.74 percent to N376.59 million by Q1 2024.

Also, the amount of money lost to POS fraud also saw a significant decline. It fell from N14.62 million by 68.34 percent to N4.63 million on a quarterly basis.

The decrease in financial losses may indicate improved detection and prevention measures, but the overall rise in fraud cases highlights the need for continued vigilance.

The rise in POS fraud cases is attributed to the widespread adoption of these terminals by merchants and consumers alike.

As a cash-driven Nigerian economy, the convenience and efficiency of POS transactions have made them a popular choice. However, this widespread adoption has also made them a target for fraudsters seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in the system.

Reported that in Q1 2023, the number of registered POS terminals increased by 218, 475, from 2,318,947 in January 2023 to 2,537,422 by March 2023. By the same quarter in 2024, the number of registered POS terminals had increased by 289, 154, from 3,441,287 in January 2024 to 3,730,441 by March 2024.

Overall, between the end of Q1 2023 and that of Q1 2024, Nigeria has witnessed an additional 1,193,019 POS terminals, marking a 47.02 percent increase.

Despite this increase in several registered POS terminals, the first quarter of 2024 saw POS transaction volumes reach 314 million, which is a significant drop of 73.81 million, or 19.03 percent, from the 387.81 million transactions recorded in the first quarter of 2023.

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) recently said that PoS agents of major fintechs in Nigeria including OPay, Palmpay, and Moniepoint, among others, must have registered their businesses by July 7, 2024.

However, it extended the deadline by 60 days, which means the operators now have until September 5, 2024.

The CAC said the registration is aimed at safeguarding the businesses of fintechs and customers, as well as strengthening the economy.

Meanwhile, the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), condemned the mandated registration, describing it as an attempt to tax more Nigerians to generate revenue for the government.

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