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Police in Lagos are accused of beating and stealing N1.350 million from men using point-of-sale devices

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The police in Lagos have apprehended two suspected criminals who pretended to be members of the Force Investigation Bureau (FIB) and Special Tactical Squad (STS) at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.

They are accused of breaking into the homes of two young men, assaulting them, and using Point of Sale (POS) technology to withdraw about N1.350 million from their accounts.

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While pretending to be law enforcement, they allegedly destroyed their properties and took $5,000 that was discovered in their residence.

Fatai Showumi Shina, 20, a spare parts dealer, and Samuel Toyosi, 25, claimed that seven heavily armed suspects broke into their home at No. 15 Oseyintola Street, Ifako-Ijaiye in Agege, Lagos, at approximately 11.30 p.m. on July 15, 2022, and beat them while claiming that they were there to look into the youths’ allegations of kidnapping. The victims claim that as soon as the men—some of whom were dressed in muftis—were forced inside the flat, they began slapping and kicking us for keeping them outside for so long. Later, when asked why they wanted to examine the residence, they revealed that they were police officials from the Force Headquarters on Investigation.

The apartment’s confused residents, who at first believed they were armed robbers, reportedly demanded their search warrant but were again allegedly met with more severe slapping and beating. The irate officers reportedly threw the residents aside, turned the apartment on its side, damaged some furniture, and promptly stole $5,000 US from a wardrobe after discovering it there.

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The victims claimed that the officers searched their apartment from top to bottom but were unable to find any evidence, so they took the residents into separate waiting vehicles while seizing their phones and accompanying them in their car.

“On the way, they claimed that they had been transported to Area B Command in Apapa for additional questioning before being flown to Abuja the following day. They first took us outside Red House Police Station in Iju, where we were brutally abused. They left Meran Police Station once more and went to the front, where they assaulted us until we had to give them our account information. The cops told Fatai to give them his ATM pin after finding N1.7m in his account, and then they withdrew N1,350,000 using various POS machines.

It was reported that while their commander was being tortured, the captives managed to learn his name. Later, they Googled it and found his image. They contacted a senior police officer who was connected to them in Abuja, and he pointed them in the direction of the Lagos state police commissioner, who suggested that a petition be sent to the IGP.

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The victims claimed that after writing the petition, they called Benjamin Hundeyin, the public relations officer for the Lagos Police, who then alerted the DPO in Iju and sent police to the two suspects’ hiding place, where they were apprehended. Four of them are still on the run, but two of them, including the gang boss who also happened to be a police officer in the field, were captured. They apparently had a variety of weapons found on them.

The second suspect, according to police sources, is a fired officer. They are allegedly a group of known thieves who have long operated in various areas of Lagos and elsewhere while being actively sought out by the police.

When contacted, Benjamin Hundeyin, a spokesman for the Lagos State Police, confirmed the detention of the two suspects and stated that the investigation was ongoing.

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