By Chioma Joseph
An alleged fraudster, Ehiarinmian Sylvester, who had preyed on a United States (US)-based Nigerian woman, Mary Okpe, defrauding her of over N150 million, has been arrested by operatives of the Zone 2 Police Command, Lagos.
The 43-year-old suspect, a married man with four children, was introduced to Okpe, aged 40, shortly after she returned from the US to Nigeria, to provide her security.
According to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), in charge of the command, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu, the victim operated a farm in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, hence the need for a security detail whenever she was visiting the farm. Iliyasu said Sylvester gradually gained the victim’s trust, and subsequently made love advances on her, claiming to be single.
The suspect however defrauded Okpe of landed properties in South Africa, Abuja, money and other assets. The AIG said: “This is a case of a United States-based Nigerian lady, who has a vision of setting up a business back home. She managed to own a farm in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Precariously, she was introduced to this fraudulent man as capable of providing her with security to and from the farm. “Sylvester made a love advance to her, despite being married with children, and promised marrying her.
Naively, the lady swung into the fraudulent Sylvester’s net and was defrauded neatly. When the lid was blown out of her eyes, the lady forwarded a petition to my office and I instructed the Zonal Tactical/ Monitoring Unit to go after the suspect. “
Four Sienna Space buses, a Toyota Highlander SUV Jeep and landed properties, comprising a storey building, an undeveloped plot of land, both in Apo area of Abuja and another two plots in Wasa area of Abuja, all belonging to the victim, were recovered from the suspect.
Yet to be recovered from him are a Mikano Generating set, two duplexes in South Africa.
“ Also the sum of $15,000 he fraudulently obtained from her, to procure visa for the victim’s sister, another $10,000 he proposed to purchase carpets for an office they both agreed to operate and N40million for the establishment of a medical laboratory. ”
In his confession, the suspect denied concealing his marital status, saying Okpe knew he was married and still gave in to his love advances.