Police authorities in Abuja, yesterday, smashed a syndicate that specialised in robbing bank customers by swindling them of their Automatic Teller Machine, ATM, cards and pins, with the leader saying they got their ‘business’ idea from reading newspapers. The suspects and cards found in their possession.
Vanguard gathered that the suspects, who were identified as David Wuese, Chika Okenyi, Omotayo Bamidele and Akura Godwin, were apprehended following complaints from members of the public to the Inspector General Police, Ibrahim Idris, who deployed his operatives at the Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, to trail and arrest the suspects. Sources at Force Headquarters disclosed that members of the syndicate were trailed to hideouts in Enugu, Benue and Nassarawa states, where they were arrested and over 70 ATM cards recovered from them.
A source said the suspects confessed during interrogations that they normally steal the ATM cards and pins while pretending to assist customers solve issues at ATM points.
Confessions When Vanguard interviewed the suspects, the leader of the syndicate Wuese, aged 27, disclosed that the syndicate was formed in Makurdi, Benue State, and they carried out their activities across several states in the country. Wuese said: “We read about something similar to our operation in the newspapers, but modified it. Some of the ATM cards found in our possession were all invalid and that was what we were using to steal from our victims. “We don’t operate in one state.
After stealing a card, we will check the balance and if the money is below N20,000, we don’t touch it. But if the amount in the account is huge, we withdraw money by phones, which we would resell at cheaper prices. “Sometimes, we take the ATMs to night clubs and hotels where we pay with cards. In our last operation, we bought three Samsung Galaxy Edge for N245,000 each and we sold them for N215,000.
“We also bought three Blackberry Passport for N130,000 each and sold them for N90,000. We also got two Infinix phones for N82,000 and it was sold for N60,000. “I can’t recall the number of operations we have carried out, but we normally share all the money we have made equally. “I have bought a Toyota Camry with my own share of our loot. I don’t know what my friends have done with their own share.”