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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NIPOST intercepts fake cheques worth N4bn

The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has intercepted scam letters containing fake cheques in foreign currencies worth over N4 billion this year alone, just as it completed 65 out of the 81 post office projects awarded between 2008 and 2009, reports ADELANI ASHAMU.

The Postmaster General (PMG) of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Mori Baba made this revelation at the weekend in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the activities of the agency for the end of the year 2009, said that the scam letters were intended to defraud unsuspecting foreign investors.

The briefing which centred on achievements of NIPOST between December 2008 and December 2009, he said, deserves commendation.

The PMG explained that NIPOST in the month of October intercepted a total of 62 scam letters containing cheques for 6663,757.80 Pounds Sterling, 4,645,836 Euros and $2,394,570.70.

Also, he said, NIPOST got hold of 179 blank cheques, $4,500 suspected fake cash, 10 driver’s licenses, three international passports and three visa cards were equally intercepted by vigilant officials of the service.

In November this year, he said, NIPOST equally intercepted 167 scam letters with various fake and negotiable instruments meant to defraud unsuspecting investors.

“Items found in the letters were Pound 389,863.20, Euros 879,650.00 and $3,329,953.70 in addition to 24 blank cheques, fake cash of $10,100, 50 suspected fraudulent documents, four international passports and one fake drug,” Mori Baba said.

He pointed out that since the ‘419’ and yahoo boys are not relenting in their heinous crime, NIPOST has resolved to give them a run for their money because the network cannot be used as a conduit to defraud investors and give Nigeria a bad image.

The Postmaster General further said that as part of the effort to reposition the postal sector, the Federal Government may set up an independent regulator to standardize the sector.

Additionally, he disclosed that a bill sent to the National Assembly for consideration recommended the creation of an independent regulator for the postal sector.

While noting that the primary function of NIPOST was to deliver mail both within and outside Nigeria, he said that between 2008 and 2009, contracts for the rehabilitation of 81 major post offices spreading across the six geo-political zones of the country were awarded in compliance with due process guidelines.

“As at 10th of December 2009, 65 of these projects have been completed and taken over while the remaining 16 have reached about 85 per cent completion stage and would be commissioned in the new year,” he said.

He informed that NIPOST has 206 functional vehicles, 610 motor-cycles and 66 bicycles to carry out its services nationwide.


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