A former banker, Seye Onigbinde, has been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly defrauding 354 Nigerians to the tune of over N500m in illegal foreign exchange deals.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Onigbinde, who operates under the business name, Blueprint Business and Consulting, convinced over 354 Nigerians to invest in his foreign exchange business after successfully helping the first set of investors to make returns on their investments.
Onigbinde, while conducting the business, gave his office address as No. 13 Hughes Street, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos, but was operating from his place of residence on No. 7 Eyiowuawi Street, in the Pedro area of Shomolu, Lagos.
It was learnt that the initial investors were also responsible for convincing a significant number of the victims whose money had yet to be recovered.
Onigbinde, who had been operating without the requisite licence, was said to have promised his investors extraordinary profits, but when the investment went bad, he allegedly made attempts to abscond with the victims’ money.
He, however, was tracked and arrested by detectives led by the Area Commander, Area ‘F’, ACP Akinbayo Olasoji, through his yet-to-be-identified wife, who had threatened to run to America with their only child when she discovered the husband’s illegal dealings.
Detectives had tracked his wife’s phone number after several petitions from his victims.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said Onigbinde had been arrested, adding that he had been charged with the crime.
He said, “The command is investigating an alleged case of fraud, cheating, money laundering, obtaining of N574,251,261,01 by false pretences through a Ponzi scheme by Tosin Onigbinde and three others, Adeyanju Tijani, Olumuyiwa Adebayo and Adewemimo Onigbinde.
“Investigation so far has revealed that Tosin Onigbinde collected a total sum of N574,251,261,01, from 354 individuals, from which he claimed to have paid principal and interest to the tune of N482,311.350,89, leaving an outstanding sum of N233,454,755,76.
“He collected this money from these individuals with a promise of extraordinary gains to those willing to invest in the scheme/investment, which he claimed was built on lucrative trading in forex trading, Bitcoin and shares purchase from four international brokers.
“This get-rich-quick scheme attracted gullible and greedy investors, who received the expected high returns, as he simply paid these investors who received the expected high returns, as Seye Onigbinde paid them from later investors. The more investors his scheme attracted, he created a business and used agents to find more and more investors.
“Investigation is ongoing and the Area ‘F’ of the command arraigned him in court and got a remand order for 21 days to enable other members of the public, whose names featured in the scheme, to approach the Human Rights Unit of the Area ‘F’ Command before final arraignment at the Lagos State High Court after the DPP advice.”