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Anambra arrests 17 suspected illegal revenue collectors

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ONE day after slashing taxes and rates for transporters in Anambra State, the state government has arrested and paraded over 17 suspected illegal revenue collectors in different parts of the state.

  Aged between 20 and 45, the suspects were arrested and paraded on Thursday, by operatives of the Operation Clean And Healthy Anambra, popularly known as OCHA Brigade.

  Parading the suspects at the OCHA Brigade headquarters in Awka, the public relation officer of the agency, Mr Anthony Onyekwelu explained that they (the suspects) who had dangerous weapons with them were perambulating every nook and cranny of the state to extort and defraud people of their hard-earned resources in the name and disguise of working for the state government as revenue agents.

  He further revealed that most of the suspects who were arrested in Onitsha metropolis and its environs were cruising and patrolling on a vehicle with the bold inscriptions: “Government of Anambra State of Nigeria”, “Internally Generated Revenue for Commerce Tolls/Fees”, “Anambra Internal Revenue Service (AIRS)”, and “It Pays to Pay Your Task”, while perpetrating their unlawful acts

  He described the acts as a serious sabotage to the efforts of the Prof. Chukwuma Soludo-led state government to rid Anambra of criminality, shut windows of revenue leakage and make the state a clean, prosperous and liveable homeland.

  He, however, noted that OCHA Brigade has been on top of the game in carrying out the mandate of government and implementing its policies, while also reassuring that the agency will not relent in making the state unconducive for illegal revenue collectors.

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  When interviewed, some of the suspects, Mr. Ifeanyi Odili, who said he is a fashion designer at the Bridge Head, Onitsha; Mr. Martin Okwudili from Enugu State, who claimed to be a staff of a brewery company in Onitsha; and Mr. Ifeanyi Nte from Anambra State, all pleaded innocent to the allegations leveled against them, and claimed that they were never caught with tickets or money as their arrestors alleged.

  While insisting that they have legitimate means of livelihood with proper identifications on them; they, therefore, appealed for proper investigation as they may have been mistaken for some other people.

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