Operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS), of Lagos State Police Command, have apprehended an 18 -year-old boy, Segun Adeyefa, for allegedly selling bar soaps as mobile phones to unsuspecting members of the public in traffic.
The suspect was arrested by the RRS men on routine patrol of Ikorodu Motor Park yesterday at about 19:50 hrs, while trying to defraud a young man.
Upon his arrival at the RRS headquarters, the suspect confessed that before he was caught on Tuesday, he had duped one person of N3,500 who wanted to buy the phone.
He noted that he was lured into the business after he was duped through a similar means about a year ago.
“My action was prompted when I was swindled by two guys about a year ago this same way. I had the intention of buying a phone, but unknown to me it was a cut-to-size bar of soap that looked similar to a phone that I got.
The two guys approached me on my way to work; then I was learning a plumbing work somewhere around Ikorodu.
I bought the phone which was advertised to me as ‘London used phone’ for N2, 500.
As I left the place, I checked the phone I bought, to my surprise, I discovered it was soap I bought for such amount.
That very moment I promised myself to revenge by doing same to other people”, he revealed.
Explaining how he mastered the tactics to swindle unsuspecting members of public through that means, he said “after I discovered that it was a cut-to-size soap I bought as phone, I learnt that tactics by understudying the material.
The item contained a cut-to-size soap, carton and they wrapped all with a cello tape”.
The suspect who lives at 81, Oriwu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos State, further revealed how he perpetrated the act until luck ran out on him:
“What I usually do is called exchange. My prospective victims will have the mind of buying handsets from me, but unknown to them I would have changed the real handset to soap wrapped with cut to size carton put inside an envelope.
I will engage them in discussion after showing them a real phone initially, and in the process of bargaining for the price, I will change it with the aid of white handkerchief to a fake phone.
And, I will tell them to keep the phone inside their pockets immediately that people are watching us. As soon as the buyer leaves the spot, I will immediately change my location by moving to another place”.
The suspect further stated that the demise of his master who was teaching him plumbing work also led to his embracing crime.
While confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmus, warned the general public to be weary of individuals who approach them to buy phones on highways in order not to fall victims also.
The suspect has been transferred to Lagos State Task Force on Environment for prosecution.