November 17, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
A senior police officer, Inspector Mohamed Lahun, who was the Officer in Command (OC), at the Rokel Police Post, was yesterday arrested and detained at Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Freetown for using a fake Facebook account bearing the name of the Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis, to defraud people.
According to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG),Thomas Mustapha Lahai, who is the Director of Integrated Intelligence Services, Inspector Lahun on the 2nd of October, 2021, used a fake Facebook account to text one businesswoman, Mary Kaillie, who deals in mobile phones and other electric devices at Bathurst, stating that he will be traveling to the United States and that, he will want to assist the woman in buying and delivering her goods without paying for flight or DHL.
“He collected USD $2,000 from Mary and after 9 days, (On the 11 of October, 2021) he text Mary again, and at that time used an international number and requested for another USD $500, claiming that he has gotten some business opportunities which he wanted to seek for the lady. Afterwards, he sent one of his gang boys, Michael, who claimed to be the younger brother of Professor Francis and collected the Money,” said AIG Lahai.
He noted that as if that was not enough, he again requested for another $1,700 United States Dollars from the same woman on 15 November, 2021, claiming that the goods had arrived and that he needed to clear it at Water Quay for that said amount.
“Fortunately for Mary, he discussed the issue with her brother who went and met the man at Mary’s house with the aim of collecting the said money at night.”
AIG Lahai said at the scene, there were three of them, Mohamed Lahun, Michael Francis (fake name) and another gentleman whose name has not been disclosed . He said Inspector Lahun was arrested but the other two managed to escape.
Preliminary investigations so far at the CID has proven that Inspector Lahun and others were running a criminal cartel using fake Facebook accounts of prominent personalities to defraud businessmen and women.
Findings at the CID also proved that they also promised people jobs, traveling passports, overseas travels and scholarships for huge sum of money.
The matter is currently being handled by the CID and the Cyber Unit who have discovered mobile phones registered with different foreign numbers used to defraud people.
AIG Lahai and the Inspector General of Police assured their commitment to set an example on such criminal racketeering gangs within the Sierra Leone police.