The Anambra Government has arrested one Chidebele Ozua, a fake revenue agent, who used government receipts to defraud traders at Nnewi Machine Parts Market.
The state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Trade and Wealth Creation, Mr Christian Madubuko, disclosed this in Awka on Friday.
Madubuko said Ozua’s criminal activity which started since 2017 had caused a huge revenue loss to the State Government.
According to him, the suspect has been handed over to the Department of State Services for further investigation.
“The suspect, who uses government original receipts with a forged signature of government officials, specialises in collecting revenue and converting it to private use.
“He intimidates innocent traders and collects stallage and other levies collectable by the ministry without authority,” he said.
Madubuko, who disclosed that some members of staff of the ministry were linked to revenue theft, assured that the state government would not leave any stone unturned in fishing them out for prosecution.
He said the receipts retrieved from the suspect indicated various amounts ranging from N12, 000, N36,000, N48,000 to N50,000 per annum, depending on the capacity of the traders.
“This type of receipt is all over the market in Nnewi. We saw also that a staff of the ministry counter signed the receipts which prompted further investigation.
“It seems the people are in competition in the game of fraud and manipulation. This is not acceptable,” he said.
The commissioner, who appealed to the public to provide information on fake revenue agents, said government was making efforts to sanitise its revenue system.
According to him, the suspect and the staff of the ministry involved will be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.