Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command have arrested one Segun Adeyefa, a teenager, for allegedly selling bar soap as mobile phones to unsuspecting members of the public.
The 18-year-old, who was trying to defraud an unsuspecting victim in traffic, was caught in the act by RRS operatives on routine patrol of Ikorodu motor-park.
Upon his arrival at RRS’s headquarters in Alausa, the suspect confessed that before he was caught, he had defrauded one person who wanted to buy the phone of N3,500.
He said he was lured into the fraudulent act after he fell victim to fraudsters using the same tactics about a year ago.
“I got involved in this after I was swindled by two guys about a year ago through this method. I had the intention of buying a phone but unknowingly to me, it was a cut-to-size bar soap that looked similar to a phone shape.
“The two guys approached me on my way to work. Then I was learning plumbing work somewhere around Ikorodu. I bought the phone, which was advertised to me as ‘London-used’ for N2,500.
“After I left the place, I checked the phone I bought and to my surprise, discovered it was a bar of soap .
It was then I promised myself to revenge by doing same to other people.”
On his modus operandi, he said: “I mastered the tactics to swindle unsuspecting members of the public. The item contained cut-to-size soap and carton, wrapped together with a cello tape.”
The suspect, who lives at No. 81, Oriwu Road, Ikorodu, further revealed that: “What I usually do is called exchange. My prospective victims will have the mind of buying handset from me but unknowingly to them I would have changed the real handset with the soap.
“I will engage them in discussion after showing them the real phone initially. In the process of bargaining for the price, I will change it with the aid of white handkerchief to fake phone and I will tell them to keep the phone inside their pockets immediately because people are watching us. As soon as the buyer leaves the spot, I will immediately change my location and move to another place.”
While confirming the arrest, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, a superintendent , warned the general public to be wary of individuals who approach them to buy phones on highways so as not to fall victim to conmen.
She said: “Items such as fake phones, bar soap cut to size, shirts, some amount of money and packets of envelopes cut to carton-sizes were recovered from him. The suspect has been transferred to Lagos State Task Force on Environment for prosecution.”