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Banker steals millions from ATM machines

Posted by By DIPO KIHINDE and CHIOMA OKEZIE on 2007/12/13 | Views: 1161 |

Banker steals millions from ATM machines


A banker, who made millions breaking into his bank’s automated machines (ATMs) and a househelp, who stole 375,000 dollars from his master’s safe were the cynosure of all eyes on Tuesday, when detectives at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, told the story of how they have recovered over a billion naira from fraudsters.

• Househelp bolts with master’s 375,000 dollars

A banker, who made millions breaking into his bank’s automated machines (ATMs) and a househelp, who stole 375,000 dollars from his master’s safe were the cynosure of all eyes on Tuesday, when detectives at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, told the story of how they have recovered over a billion naira from fraudsters.

As he was parading the super crooks at Milverton office of the SFU, Commissioner of Police, Mr Olayinka Balogun raised alarm that fraudsters are now breaking into ATM with ease.

He said that on November 30, 2007, at about 4 pm representatives of United Bank for Africa (UBA) brought one Michael Abel, a staff of the bank for the offence of conspiracy, forgery and stealing of one million naira from a customer’s account by transferring the amount into one Odinaka Victor’s account and fraudulently withdrew the sum of four hundred thousand naira through ATM at AOCOED, Ijanikin.
Balogun said: “Investigation so far carried out shows that Michael Abel specifically opened a saving account with the name of Odinaka Victor and the photograph on the identity card used to fraudulently withdraw four hundred thousand naira resembled his photograph.

“Meanwhile, suspect had given a confessional statement admitting fraudulent withdrawal of the said N400,000 out of the one million naira he fraudulently transferred from ASJAY’S account to Odinaka Victor’s account.

Luck ran out on Abel’s when the bank began to investigate missing millions from ATMs and the detectives found the thief, who did not know that his image had been captured by a camera in the machine as he was withdrawing a customer’s money.
Abel, who described himself as a system analyst told reporters at the parade that he had spent only seven months as a staff of the bank and he confessed that he had withdraw over N3 million.

Paschal Tosson, the househelp who stole $375,000 belonging to his expatriate master, told reporters that he duplicated the key to the master’s safe and was taking the bundles of 100 and 50 dollar bills one by one until the day he swept the safe clean and escaped to Republic of Benin.
The 37-year-old father of two said he had kept part of the money wrapped in cellotape with some friends at two border villages, where the detectives had trailed him to.

The Commissioner of Police urged Nigerians to be wary of their househelps, as he pointed out that some people who bring these girls are “deliberate fraudsters, who train and programme them on how and when to strike.
Balogun also spoke about other cases that his detectives had cracked. One is a case of obtaining money under false pretences, involving two suspects Rev. Adeniji Salahu and Adeniji Olabanji, who allegedly swindled one Mrs Balakaly Oriola of N230,000 in the guise that they were to use the money for the bail of her husband, who is in the SFU custody.

Another case was that of one Edward Atare who was operating under various names and succeeded in withdrawing over N3 million from a company account and a bank employee named as Emmanuel Chiagbona, in Sapele, Benin City, who was allegedly stealing and converting customers deposits.

“A customer of the bank, Henry Ebagba deposited the sum of N20 million, which the suspect diverted and converted to his own use. In the same vein, he converted a sum of N6 million deposit collected from one Mr Solomon Ohonu,” Balogun said, as he urged bank customers to request for their bank statement on monthly basis to ensure the like of Ikechukwu do not tamper with their accounts.

Meanwhile, Balogun announced at the conference that Inspector General of Police, Mr Mike Okiro had directed him to take over the co-ordination and running of the Financial Malpractices Investigation Unit otherwise known as Failed Bank Investigation Unit. Subsequently, as Assistant Commissioner of Police has been assigned to head the section for effective operation and coordination.

He said: “The unit in collaboration with NDIC (Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation) had recently recovered 23 vehicles from staff of Hallmark Bank in liquidation, 28 vehicles from staff of Assurance Bank in liquidation, two vehicles from staff of Eagle Bank in liquidation and one from Gulf Bank in liquidation. This gives a grand total of 66 cars recovered so far.
“Also cheques totaling N5.3 million, a part payment of debt from Hallmark Bank in liquidation, was also recovered.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.