The Police Command, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos has apprehended five persons who specialize in the sale of fake positive Covid-19 certificates at the airport.
The Police Commissioner, Airport Command, Mr. Bature Umar who paraded the suspects said, two others were still at large.
He said the suspects, Achibong Idonrenyin, Moses Samuel, Popoola Adewala, Wale Aderele and Abdulmalik Ibrahim, were nabbed on February 19, 2021 at the airport when a British Airways passenger, Michael Osagbogun was defrauded of the sum of N50,000 for Covid-19 test.
Two of the suspects, Popoola Adewale and Adeola Dalington, who were familiar with the airport environment due to the nature of their jobs at the airport, Mr. Umar said allegedly took the victim to one of the toilet facilities at the airport where the sum of N50,000 was obtained from him under the pretext of producing a valid Covid-19 positive certificate for the victim.
He explained that, the victim was taken to DAT Cybercafe at No. 4, Oriyomi Street, Ikeja where a fake Covid-19 positive certificate was eventually procured for him, adding that the victim discovered later while about boarding his flight to the United Kingdom that his Covid-19 positive certificate was fake and was denied boarding.
The Police Commissioner stated that on raising the alarm, the police with the combined team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Aviation Security (AVSEC), a department in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) swung into action and arrested four of the suspects and a guarantor to one of the two suspects who were currently at large.
Mr. Umar said investigation had revealed that the suspects had been in the heinous crime for several months, vowing that the command would not relent in its efforts at exposing criminal activities within the airport.
Upon interrogation, the suspects confessed to the crime and the sum of N50,000, which they obtained from the victim was recovered from them, while the computer used for the crime has been impounded and will be used as exhibit in the court of law.
“The passenger as far as we are concerned is a victim. He was the one that reported the case to us after he was denied boarding by the officials of the airline. So far, the suspects are providing information that will aid investigation to the police.”
He said that the suspects would be charged to court tomorrow Friday and urged the travelling public to avoid short cuts in getting relevant documents for their travel from the appropriate authorities and to be wary of activities of criminals within the airport.