A 42-year-old man, Rafiu Olusamokun, is currently in the custody of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly producing fake foreign and local currencies, which allegedly run into millions of naira.
Our correspondent learnt that Olusamokun, an indigene of Owo, Ondo State, was arrested by the police in his house at Ayidolapo Street, in the Ikotun area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspect, who was a motor mechanic before allegedly venturing into production of fake currencies, worked with some people who were still at large.
It was learnt that the police recovered an iron box full of fake dollars, pounds and naira notes from Olusamokun. Some materials such as cotton wool, paints and oil, allegedly used in the production of the money, were also recovered by the police.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the suspect said he was introduced into the business by some men who claimed to have newly returned from Europe.
Olusamokun said the men brainwashed him and forced him to pay about N600,000 to purchase the materials to produce the fake currencies.
He said, “I met those people early this year. I was working as a motor mechanic, and I just ran into them. They said they recently returned from Europe.
When I visited them at a hotel in the Bar Beach, Victoria Island area, they brought out the samples of the currencies they had, and said I could produce same if I wanted to become wealthy.
I was immediately interested. A friend, Sule Sulaimon, who went with me, also became interested. Their leader said all I needed to do was to purchase the chemicals from them. He said I should bring N1m, but I eventually paid N650,000 for the chemicals.
“I did not know the samples they gave me were fake; the papers looked so original. I first gave him N400,000, and then N250,000. He said I could reproduce as much hard currencies as I wanted from the materials I had.
“The currencies recovered from my house runs into millions, but I was not through with the reproduction. If I had finished with it, I would have been a wealthy man. I would have evaded the arrest.”
A police source told our correspondent that Olusamokun was to give part of the money reproduced to the syndicate, so that he could be given more materials. He added that the police were still on the trail of the group.
“The syndicate gave him the materials and the currencies to wash into original. The money is actually worth millions. He was producing €100 and €200 and pounds. The police found the fake cash in his house,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the suspect would be charged to court as soon as investigations were over.
“The police will continue to ensure that we reduce crimes to the barest minimum in the state,” he added.