How crooks posing as Delta govt agents rake over N4.3m in 2 years
By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Crooks disguising as officials of the Delta State Waste Management Board have allegedly raked in over N4.3 million from unsuspecting residents of Asaba and other parts of the state in two years, hsve been revealed.
It was gathered that their modus operandi was to disguise as officials of the state owned waste management board with identity cards bearing the state government logo and authorising signature from Monday to Friday in a bus with official colour (Blue & White paint) and fake plate number to comb every house where they would demand for payment between N2,000 and N3,000 for a month as official payment with receipt issued to the owners of the houses on the spot before moving away to other areas.
But the state government, through the state Ministry of Information and in a statement issued and Signed by Director of Information, Mr Dan Obuseh, a copy made available to journalists in Asaba reads, “The attention of the State Waste Management Board has been drawn to the activities of some unscrupulous individuals, who disguise as officials of the Board to rip off members of the public, especially owners of houses, they go about collecting money illegally from people for waste disposal. For the avoidance of doubts, the Delta State waste Management Board has not authorised or mandated anyone or group of people to collect cash payment from any individuals, business or companies in the name of waste disposal fee”.
Further investigation revealed that these fake officials of the Waste Management Board allegedly connive with the authentic officials who will in turn benefit from the booties to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
Speaking to our reporter in Asaba, a resident, Madam Nkem Amaechi said, ” Every month, they collect N2,000 from each of us in our houses and issue receipt for what we paid, until recently, we were told that the people were fake, and are not the authentic officials of the Waste Management Board. We are tired of all these fraudsters; how could we begin allover to make another payment?”
Following the discovery of the fraudulent scheme, the state government has directed residents, businesses and companies against paying for waste disposal through agents. A statement issued by the agency urged them to “make their payment directly to the board’s account or visit the headquarters of the board for further information”.
They further warned that security agents have been informed with a view to arresting the fraudsters and prosecuting them accordingly.
The chairman of the Board, Mr Jude Onya, who spoke to journalists in Asaba on Thursday, expressed shock over the activities of the fraudsters, adding that efforts were being made to ensure that all those involved in the board are disgraced out of the office considering the list of persons that were fingered, adding that, “We are determined to clean up the state in collaboration with the state Ministry of Environment and Asaba Capital Territory, and we will ensure the crooks are brought to book.”
While urging members of the public to always report anybody collecting such money to the Board for necessary action, residents of Asaba and its environs alleged that the Waste Management Board officials were not properly disposing their wastes as wastes littered everywhere, even at the state capital.