Barely a month after Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo launched the Trader Moni scheme, an initiative targeted at petty traders and artisans across markets on the Lagos Mainland, criminals have devised a means to scam unsuspecting persons interested in the scheme.
InsideMainland reliably gathered that the criminals hiding under the guise of helping unsuspecting residents register for the scheme have perfected ways to swindle them.
The criminals, InsideMainland learnt will visit their targets in their homes, markets and places of business to show photos of the visit of the Vice President and his entourage to markets while promoting the scheme. They will further show forms meant to use in registering the applicants before asking them to pay the sum of N2,000 (Two Thousand Naira) for them to be registered under the scheme.
According to an official of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corp (LNSC) in Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos Mainland, Ahmed Akanni, who spoke to InsideMainland on the development, three suspects were arrested last week for swindling residents of the community of their monies to register them under the scheme.
“The suspects have perfected the crime. They visited some aged women promoting the scheme to them that they can get between N10,000 and N20,000 to help their businesses. They will, in turn, take photos and promise to register these people after collecting the sum of N2,000 from them,” the officer revealed.
“The suspects went as far as buying yams, packs of noodles, salt, and biscuits that they use in registering people. They will ask those who don’t have wares yet to pose beside the items and will then promise to register them for Trader Moni.
“The three persons behind the criminal activity were arrested along Alamutu axis of Ifako-Ijaiye when a concerned resident informed one of our officers on patrol. The suspects were rounded up and they confessed to the crime. We handed them over to the Area G Police Division in Ogba, for further investigation and prosecution,” the official concluded.
In addition, InsideMainland learnt that some residents in Mushin, Ejigbo and Mile 2 ends of Lagos Mainland have raised an alarm about the activities criminally minded persons hiding under the guise of helping traders secure the Trader Moni loan to get money from them.
Residents especially traders are however urged to be wary of these criminals and to swiftly report such developments to security agencies for prompt action.