The State Security Service (SSS) in Borno State yesterday alerted residents of a syndicate using text messages to extort money from innocent individuals.
The state SSS Director, Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi, gave the warning while parading two suspected members of the syndicate in Maiduguri.
Abdullahi explained that the syndicate usually masqueraded under the guise of being members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect to perpetrate their crime.
“For some time now, the SSS has been inundated with complaints from members of the public on threat messages aimed at extorting money.
“The perpetrators who operate in cliques exploit the security situation in the state to intimidate their victims while masquerading as members of the sect,’’ he said.
Abdullahi said after a series of investigation, the SSS apprehended two suspects believed to be leaders of separate syndicates Mohammed Garba and Luka Dogonyaro.
“Garba is a 39-year-old Babur man who grew up in Kano. He specializes in extorting money from private individuals. Among his victims are present and past chairmen of local government councils in the state,’’ he added.
Abdullahi said that Garba was trailed to his hideout in Kano after series of investigations by the service.
‘‘Dogonyaro, on the other hand, is a 39 year old dismissed police corporal who operates separate racket that have defrauded many people in the state.’