CHASE Chapter 1 – Tim’s Stories

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CHASE Chapter 1 - Tim's Stories

CHASE Chapter 1 – Tim’s Stories

I was an undercover agent, working for the country’s most dreaded secret service. I was on a special assignment to fish out a group of forgers who resided in the economic capital. These forgers could provide you with any document you needed. They had the stamps of all the necessary government officials, and had succeeded to master how to sign their signatures, too. It was a whole network, and the forgers made millions out of their lucrative but illegal trade.

I wasn’t selected for that mission just at random. I was the real man for the job. I had all the necessary training that was required for those kinds of operations. I had graduated with a first-class law degree before enrolling into the police academy. While in the academy, I had distinguished myself in terms of my academic performance. As a result, I was granted an all-expense scholarship to study in a foreign military academy.

When I came back to the country some two years later, I had become proficient in many disciplines. I had become very proficient in martial arts and had also become an expert shot. I had also graduated at the top of my class. So, I was a complete package, and that was why my boss, as soon as I got back to the country, decided to send me on that particular operation. He called me one morning and told me that he wanted to see me urgently in his office.

“Good morning, Sir.” I greeted, standing at attention and lifting my chest up.

“Good morning, Rayim, and welcome. Please, relax.”

“Thank you. Sir, you sent for me.”

“Yes, I did.”

“I am at your service, Sir. What would you want me to do?” I asked excitedly.

“Rayim, do you remember what we talked about two days ago?” He asked.

“Sir, we talked about a wide variety of things. Which particular one, are you talking about?”

“The group of forgers.”

“Okay! Yes, Sir. I remember now.”

“Good, they have become very notorious lately. I hear they have now extended their operations to fabricating fake bank notes, counterfeit money. I have gotten report from many banks about the circulation of fake bank notes in the city. I have also gotten reports from the interior ministry about the proliferation of fake documents. The whole thing is getting out of hand. So, I explained the situation to one of my friends in the other precinct, and he recommended you. So, I hope you won’t let me down.” He spoke.

“I will do my very best, Sir.” I replied.

“I don’t want your very best, Rayim. I want results. Get those guys and arrest everyone of them. They have a month’s appointment with the central prison and I would hate for them to miss it. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“You are dismissed.”

As I left his office to begin my investigations, I realized that I had to be extra careful. Forgers, especially those who were involved in minting counterfeit money, were not ordinary criminals. So, I had to get myself prepared for any eventuality. My game plan was to to be cautious and smart. I had to blend in the neighbourhoods, act like an ordinary citizen until I was able to locate their headquarters. After that, I would carry on from there.

It wasn’t easy to locate their head office. It took me more than a month in the streets before I was able to locate them. I had to dress up like a normal person in the society. They say in order to catch a thief, you have to think like a thief. So, for many days, I attended clubs and bars and restaurants all in the bid to have information about their network. However, I had very little luck, until one day, I struck gold.

During one of my undercover operations in the city, I had met and befriended one girl who worked at a fast-food joint. I ate at the joint almost every day, not just for investigation purposes, but also to see her. One day, when I came to eat, I realized that she was not at work. I wondered what the problem could be.

She always worked at night because she sold provisions at the market in the day. So, I always went there at night too so that I could meet her. That was why I was worried when I didn’t find her. Because I had been seeing her almost every day, I hadn’t even bothered to get her phone number. So, there was no way I could contact her.

I called one of her colleagues and asked her whereabouts.

“Good evening. I am sorry to bother you. Would you be so kind as to tell me where LaBelle has gone to? I haven’t seen her today.”

“Good evening, Sir. I am sorry to inform you, but LaBelle has been laid off.” She replied.

“Why?” I was angry.

“The boss asked everyone to present at least and Advanced Level certificate. LaBelle didn’t have any. She had just Ordinary Levels. So, she was laid off.”

“That is not good. Emm, do you know how I can get her?” I asked.

“I don’t know where she lives, but I do have her number. Should I give you?” She asked.

“Yes, pleased do.”

After I had collected her number and saved it, I dialed it and waited for her to pick. It took forever for her to pick. When she finally did, she sounded very rude.

“Who is it, please?” She asked. “Who are you and what do you want?”

“My name is Rayim, remember me?”

“Rayim? The cute guy who always comes to the fast-food joint?”

“That’s right.”

“How did you get my number?” She asked excitedly.

“Your former colleague gave it to me. I heard you were laid off.”

“Yes, I have been laid off. But never mind, I will be fine. So, what can I do for you?”

“Can I see you?” I dared to ask.

“Tonight?”

“Tonight.”

“Alright, take a bike, and say they should drop you at Nyalla, Pariso. When you get to Pariso, take another bike and ask the bike man to drop you opposite Dreams Hotel. When you get there, notify me, and I will come and get you.”

I was somewhere around Chateaux Nyalla. So, it didn’t take long for me to get to Dreams Hotel. When I got there, I was about to call her when I saw her sitting in an off-license bar that was directly opposite the hotel. She ran up to me and gave me a tight hug. She asked me to follow her to her house, and I did. She lived in a one room apartment in a cramped compound. Her home was very sparsely furnished and spoke of hard times. She offered me a drink, but I quickly turned down her offer.

“This is the first day you are coming to my house, and you are already refusing my offer. That is not a good way to behave.” She complained.

“Don’t worry, next time, I won’t refuse.” I spoke.

“Okay, if you say so. So, what do you want?”

“Nothing really, I heard you were sacked, and as a regular customer, I just decided to see you.” I explained.

“That is nice of you. Anyway, it is all my fault. I cannot blame my boss. He gave us enough time to present our certificates, but we didn’t take him seriously. I wish I had taken him seriously. He gave us up to three months, but I kept lagging.” She lamented.

“Three months?” I asked, surprised. “But it’s supposed to take a whole year to prepare for the GCE. After that, you have to write the exam, and then wait for the results. Also, there is also the possibility of not passing the exams. So, what do you mean by three months.”

“Who wants to write the GCE?” She sneered.

“How do you mean? How do you intend to have the certificate without writing and passing the exam?”

That was when she revealed everything to me. She said she knew of a building somewhere around Logbaba where you could forge a certificate. In fact, you could forge everything you wanted, even passports. I was shocked by her revelations. She told me that she would have gotten her certificate from the place long ago, if she had money. However, she was still in the process, of raising some money. As soon as she did, she would go there and secure a valid certificate for herself. She would then take it to her former boss, and she would be reemployed.

For weeks, I had been struggling to get information about the forging business without success. Now, completely by mistake, I was going to have all the information I wanted. I had to act smart, and I had to be patient. If she discovered that I was an undercover cop, especially one that worked at the country’s secret service, everything would be disrupted. I had to thread with caution.

“How much does it cost to do the Advanced Level certificate?” I asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.

“Forty thousand.” She replied.

“That’s all?”

“Yes.”

“If I were to give you the money now, how soon do you think you will be able to get the certificate?” I asked.

“By the end of tomorrow, latest.”

“Sure?”

“Sure.”

“Okay, do you use MTN MoMo?”

“I do.”

I transferred forty-five thousand to her account, and as soon as soon as she received the alert, she flung herself on me and gave me tight hug. She was very happy. In fact, she was so happy that she wanted to pay me back in kind. However, her room was too hot, and I had to keep in mind that I was on a mission. So, I asked her to postpone it. I however, made her to agree that tomorrow, when she was going for the transaction, I would go with her. She was hesitant at first. But after I lied to her that I was also looking for someone to do a fake passport for me, she accepted.

“Please, stay the night.” She spoke.

“I can’t.”

“Why?”

“This place is too tight. See how I am already sweating. I would literally bake. You need a fan. Anyway, I will get you a fan.”

“Really? When?” She asked excitedly.

“Tomorrow.”

“Okay, but I don’t want you to go tonight. It’s late already.”

We ended up sleeping at Dreams Hotel, and please, don’t ask me what happened. The next day, we both went to the building where the forgers had their headquarters. When we got to the entrance of the place, we met a suspicious looking young man at the front desk. The place looked dirty and untidy. I wondered if we were actually at the right place. How could people who ran a multimillion illegal business be living in such a pigsty? Anyway, we greeted him, but he ignored our greetings and instead asked:

“What do you want?”

“We came to do doki.” LaBelle answered.

“We don’t do that here. Who on earth told you that we do doki here?” He asked, his piggish little eyes moving from one face to the other.

“Listen here, young man.” LaBelle Spoke. “We are not the police. We have come for business. Actually, this is not our first time. Looks like you are new here. If you weren’t, you would have recognized me.”

“That is true.” The young man spoke. His tone seemed to have been softened. “I am new here. Please follow me.”

We both followed him through a door that was at the end of the dirty reception. The door led to another very large room that was a marked contrast to the dirty reception. That was when I realized that we were indeed at the right place. That was because there were all sorts of documentation machines in that room. They were computers and printers and photocopiers, scanners and many other machines. I smiled to myself. I had found the place.

It took just an hour for the certificate to be produced. LaBelle paid and collected it, and we exited the building. She looked at me and smiled.

“What do you do now?” I asked.

“I am going straight to Chateaux to submit it to my former boss. By the end of this day, I will be back at work. Thank you for everything. Let me go now, please. I will call you later.” She was very happy.

“Thank you, too, Bella.”

She stopped a bike and told the rider to take her to Chateaux. After she was gone, I turned around again and looked at the building where the forgers had their headquarters. I smiled broadly. If only they knew that they would soon be out of business. It was very easy to call backup from headquarters, raid the place immediately, close it down and arrest everyone. However, what good would it do? If we went now to conduct arrests, we would get just the small fishes. I wanted to get the big bosses themselves. So, I had to be patient.

I removed my phone from my pocket and dialed my boss’ number. He picked after one ring.

“Rayim.”

“Yes, Sir. I found their headquarters. We have to get to work immediately.”

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