Niger govt loses N13.8bn to pension scammers - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Niger govt loses N13.8bn to pension scammers

The Niger State government has in the past two years lost N13.8 billion to a pension syndicate that specialized in forging documents to claim monies of persons who had transferred their services, retired from service or dead former staff.

The over 20-man syndicate, spread across most juicy ministries, boards and parastatals in the specialized in forging the signatures of next-of-kins of their targets especially deceased persons and those who in search of greener pasture transfer their services to other states.
The police in one of its major breakthroughs in the year uncovered the modus operandi of the group after months of painstaking investigations into the activities of the group and also arrested most of the arrowheads in the state.
A source from the Niger State Police Command sad that the syndicate numbering 24 had their tentacles spread across virtually all the ministries, boards and parastatals for easy monitoring of what is going on in such ministries and perfecting their maneuverings.
The police, according to the source, also discovered that the scam was carried out without the knowledge of either, the retired staff, their family members or the workers who had transferred their services to other departments within and outside the state.
The syndicate members ,who also have informants from among staff of their target ministries, it was further gathered, always pretend to be on ‘Special Assignment’ and demand to know the number of retired persons and those who in search of greener pasture transfer their services outside of Niger State.
Further findings, it was discovered that the syndicate apart from forging the signatures of the next-of-kins of the former staff used in perfecting their criminal activities also forge documents that would facilitate easy release of their target’s pensions to them.
The police after the discovery went after the members, including those of them who had travelled out of the state and in the process recovered over N4.5 million while many other accomplices arrested also promised that they would refund their shares of the loot.
DSP Bala Elkanah , Police Public Relations Officer, when contacted confirmed the busting of the syndicate, describing the feat as one of the major breakthroughs in crime fighting the command has made in recent time.
“I can confirm the arrest of some members of signature forging syndicate who specialize in defrauding the state government forging the signatures of dead former staff, those who retired and those who may have their services transferred for greener pasture. This is indeed a major breakthrough by the police in Niger state”.
DSP Bala Elkanah said all those arrested would be charged to court, assuring that the police was determined to get to the roots of the matter in making sure that all those connected with the fraud are arrested and prosecuted according to the law.