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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (aka Awise), the leader of the alleged deadly syndicate of ‘juju’ scammers that operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.

In a statement issued by the EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by a victim, Bright Juliet who lost N250 million to the syndicate after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.

She was introduced to Alaka by Akinola Bukola Augustina (aka Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spiritual Healing Centre.

Once she contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her only if she paid N16 million. The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change operator.

After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina passed the victim on to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise.

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Juliet revealed that she met Awise at his shrines in Ashipa Town and was hypnotised and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members until she lost N250 million to them.

Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions never improved.

She consequently petitioned the EFCC.

A team from the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Section (FEMS) at EFCC headquarters, on May 21, 2021, arrested both Sani Mohammed and Akinola Bukola Augustina in Egbeda and Abule Egba respectively, in a sting operation in Lagos.

Augustina, who is currently on administrative bail, later led operatives to the Ashipa Town Shrine of Awise, but the latter escaped arrest having got wind of the presence of the Commission’s operatives. He was, however, later apprehended.

Following his arrest, the Commission has traced and marked several assets linked to Awise, believed to be got from proceeds of his criminal activities.

According to the EFCC, the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.

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