The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Police Command has arrested and paraded five persons for issuing fake COVID-19 certificate.
Two other suspects are still at large.
The suspects – Achibong Idonrenyin, Moses Samuel, Popoola Adewala, Wale Aderele and Abdulmalik Ibrahim – specialised in selling fake COVID-19 negative certificates to unsuspecting travellers within the international wing of the airport.
The suspects at large are Shehu Imam and Adeola Dalington, who works with Sky Blue Services Limited – a cleaning service at the airport.
Briefing reporters yesterday in his office at the airport, the Airport Command Police Commissioner, Bature Umar, said the incident occurred on February 19, at the airport where a British Airways passenger, Michael Osagbogun, was defrauded of N50,000 for fake COVID-19 test.
According to the commissioner, one of the suspects had approached Osagbogun promising to produce a COVID-19 test positive certificate for him.
Two of the suspects, Adewale and Dalington, who knew the airport environment well due to the nature of their jobs, allegedly took the victim to one of the toilet facilities at the airport where N50,000 was obtained from him under the pretext of producing a valid COVID-19 negative certificate for the victim.
Umar explained that one of the suspects took the victim to DAT Cybercafe at No. 4, Oriyomi Street, Ikeja, where a fake COVID-19 negative certificate was eventually procured for him.
But, despite the payment of the sum, he said the victim, who was on his way to London, United Kingdom, was denied boarding by the officials of the airline based on the fake COVID-19 certificate he presented at the counters.
He emphasised that the victim immediately raised the alarm, which led to the arrest of four suspects and a guarantor to one of the two suspects at large.
Umar explained that the combined team of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Aviation Security (AVSEC), a department in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), laid ambush for the suspects before they could be arrested.
He added that the suspects would be paraded in the court of competent jurisdiction today.
The police commissioner advised travelers to be wary of activities of criminals within the airport.
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