A ritualists’ den, code named, ZONE II, was discovered by the Osun State Police Command, at Jamodo Junction, Ifon-Osun area of the state, yesterday.
The police also paraded two suspected ritualists who specialise in dragging and defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
Daily Sun gathered that fraudsters deceived their victims with false promises that they would perform rituals which could make them rich.
The suspects, identified as Yusuff Taofeek (21) and Jimoh Sherif (20), disguised as herbalists to carry out the dastardly act.
Commissioner of Police, Adeoye Fimihan, who paraded the suspects, said they were arrested on October 6, 2017, following a tip-off and investigations.
He said one Sehidu Aliu, also known as ‘Alaga,’ who is now on the run, is leader of the ritualises.
Fimiham added that the suspects, who usually assemble at the shrine, brandished dangerous weapons, such as guns and cutlasses to threaten their victims to submission.
The police commissioner also said his operatives raided the shrine after a tip-off and discovered the hideout.
“The syndicate specialises in duping and defrauding unsuspecting members of the public under the pretence of being herbalists that can make money rituals for them.
“Investigations led to the discovery of their den and shrine at Isangbe village, in Ifon-Osun, where outrageous numbers of statues made of cement, carved wood, foams, assorted charms, cloths, empty Schnapps bottles used for sacrifice were found. Some contain snakes and lizards for the purported Sango, (Yoruba god of thunder).
“One of the moveable statues with a feminine stature was removed from the shrine, to be tendered as exhibit. Sherif confessed that he belonged to Zone II notorious gang headed by Aliu as well as a cult and ritualists group led by Alhaji Afisu Olanipekun. He added that they made up to N500,000 altogether from the operations.”
The commissioner of police said Taofeek was hiding in the ceiling of the house of Aliu when he was arrested.
Adeoye said items recovered from the suspects included one unregistered Toyota camry salon car and two Bajaj boxer motorcycles and added that 15 other members of the syndicate are still at large.
“We appreciate the public for their cooperation and we appeal that they continue to give us useful information that could help in making Osun a crime-free state. Investigations are ongoing,” the commissioner said.