The police have arrest three members of a recruitment syndicate, Universal Rescue Response Support Foundation (URRSF), for allegedly swindling unsuspecting applicants of N7 million.
CSP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, who announced the arrest in Abuja on Friday, named the suspects as Lemmy Odogwu, 35, Michael Abraham, 45, and Innocent Prosper, 35.
Mba said that Abraham, the leader of the syndicate, claimed that URRSF belonged to the Economic and Social Council of the UN.
The police spokesman said that the arrest of the suspects followed complaints by the UN Chief Security Officer in Nigeria that a recruitment scam was using the name of the world body
“The police, acting on the report by the Chief Security Officer of the UN, based in Nigeria, commenced investigation into the reported case of a recruitment scam going on in the country.
“On receiving that complaint, the Inspector-General of Police promptly directed the INTERPOL unit of the Force CID to commence investigation.
“In course of investigation, it was discovered that indeed, an organisation that styled itself as URRSF, which equally claimed to be an affiliate of the UN, has been hoodwinking innocent young Nigerians.
“The organisation claimed to be a paramilitary organisation with capacity to operate on land, air and water,’’ he said.
Mba alleged that the syndicate swindled unsuspecting applicants on the pretext that they were being recruited and trained to work as rescue and field officers for the UN.
He said that the syndicate had set up illegal training camps in Lagos, Ekiti, Cross River and Imo states.
“So far, an estimated sum of N7 million has been extorted from their various victims; the website being used by the syndicate is www.univesalrescuecorps.com.
“Companies and organisations are advised to continuously maintain strategic surveillance on their website so that their (companies) websites are not being cloned.
“Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious job advertisements, suspicious recruitment centres and other related crimes to the police or security agencies,’’ he said.
Mba said that items recovered from the suspects included 181 copies of unfilled recruitment forms with UN logo and 20 photographs of URRSF members in paramilitary uniforms.
Others are booklets containing list of recruitment and phone numbers of intending members of URRSF and a Toyota Jeep with registration number, BG151AA.
Mba quoted the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr Mohammed Abubakar, as commending personnel of the FCID, Interpol Unit, who handled the matter for their dedication and professionalism.
Mba also quoted the IG as advising the public not to have anything to do with URRSF as it was not part of the UN.
The force spokesman presented the suspects to newsmen at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, saying that they would be immediately be arraigned on charges of criminal conspiracy, impersonation, cheating and forgery.
In an interview, Abraham, the alleged leader of the syndicate, said he approached the UN Office in Lagos in 2012 and sought assistance in floating an NGO on voluntary services.
“And I was told to go back and that whatever I intend to do, I should register with the Government of Nigeria and after one year, I should return for an assessment.’’
Abraham, however, apologised for embarrassing the world body.
`He said the reasons the UN appeared on the form was not for criminal purposes.
“I felt that we are supporting the work of the UN in the place of Millennium Development Goals.
“I never knew this will cause the UN all this embarrassment.
“Sincerely speaking, I am very sorry and I want to apologise to UN, I am sorry, it was not criminally intended, we just want to serve humanity and that is just all,’’ he said.
Another suspect, Prosper, said that he was motivated to join the organisation because of its attachment to the international organisation.
“The first thing that motivated me to join the organisation, URRSF, was the UN that I saw. That was the reason why I decided to do the orientation,’’ he said. (NAN)
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