Crime Focus

419ners and rest of us (2)

With Soliu Woru Mohammed

Continued from next week

For the avoidance of doubt, fraudsters are not usually violent but trickish. They are lovers of time, who usually enjoy visiting their victims regularly and particularly during the planning stage to convince the victims of their seriousness and good intention. It is  common for tricksters to present to you sealed bag of rice mixed with other substances or even stones or present to you drums of palm oil purportedly containing palm oil but rather dipped in water and sealed for sale. Study has revealed that they can show you a building or land for sale even though they are not owners of the land or building plan. Most of the 419ners do not usually reside in one particular location… as they migrate from one city to another to conceal their identity.

They move about with various forged letter headed addresses or paper bearing various names of businesses all in attempt to deceive you. In the event of transacting business with someone they are not familiar with, always endeavour to have a good look of your trade partners (their facial appearance), make of dresses, complexion, the way they talk, height and weight, possibly the type and registration number of the vehicle they bring to your premises. You will be helping the authority in the prevention of the nefarious activities of 419ners by refusing the urge of getting rich quick you also needed to be of extra-careful when transacting a business. The noble duty of crime prevention is that of the generality of the society.

Crime can be reduced drastically and the society can be a good place to live in as you want it to be, only when you redouble your efforts in assisting the constituted authority and cooperate with the government in order to ensure peace and security in the society.

Take note that the offence of having property or money, under (419) false practice is committed when any person by false pretence, with intent to defraud any other person obtain property from any other person and mere pretence is enough to constitute the crime. It is therefore irrelevant whether the property is obtained or not. The offence and its punishment is created under section 419 of crime procedure rule and later replaced with primordial decree called advanced fee fraud and other related offences decree. The offence is a serious one, which is not normally bailable and carries a long term imprisonment on conviction.

The nefarious activities in recent time have seen of the fraudsters destroyed many homes and destablised many families and indeed dented or malign the image of the community involved causing disaffection among various nations, and that is why we call on you not to discountenanced when an offences is being committed or about to be committed in your presence or to your knowledge. You should resolve today to do your best to play significant roles to campaign against all sort of social vices or crime in the society. You are constitutionally allowed to effect the arrest of any person that committed an offence in your presence but such an arrested suspect must be handed over to the police nearer to you immediately. You should be extra-vigilant when transacting business in the bank, supermarkets, or watching films, you should also restrain yourself in hotels or post offices, so that you do not fall victim of fraudsters.

While pay master, accountant and other finance staff withdrawing huge sums of money from banks should always keep the date of such withdrawal to their chest or to trusted staff only, so as to avoid any form of shady deals or conspiracy. Nigeria is our country. It’s your country and you and I have a responsibility in making Nigeria great. Today is the time, tomorrow may be too late.

To be continued next week

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