A banker identified as Mr. Christian Amechi who works in the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) customer’s care unit of a new generation bank has been arrested with four others for hacking and stealing the sum of N20 million from customers’ accounts.
The other suspects which include Amechi are Oyozoje Joseph (30), Nelson Matthew Eugari, Henry Omogbemi (31) and Ene Mona Gabriel who assisted Amechi to hack into bank customers’ accounts were arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Rapid Response Squad (RRS).
Confirming the arrest of the suspects, the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal revealed that the leader of the syndicate Amechi was arrested after the leader of a gang of pickpockets, Mr. Akeem Apejoye, was arrested at the Ajegunle area of Lagos.
In his confessional statement, the arrested suspect said Amechi and his syndicate encouraged him to steal phones but he said he didn’t know the SIM in the stolen phones were used in siphoning money from customers’ bank accounts.
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The pickpocket said; “Honestly, I didn’t know Amechi and his friends used the SIM cards to remove money from the accounts of customers. They, however, used to buy drinks at joints for me. Amechi and I grew up together at Ajegunle. I enjoy being with them, especially at the weekends.”
Amechi, who attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), said that he read Banking and Finance. The suspect introduced himself as ATM Card System Analyst.
He said: “All that was needed for the transfer to succeed is the customer’s SIM card. Any account holder, who does online transaction, has his or her BVN number stored on his or her phone. I grew up in Ajegunle and I know almost all members of the syndicate. I know them on the street; I was introduced into the business by one of my friends known as Ose boy and DJ.”
According to him, aside from assisting the syndicate to generate information of account holders, he also provided telephone numbers of victims.
He added: “Sometimes, we would do a ‘welcome back’ of some of these telephone numbers. What happens in this case is that the original owner of the line would not be able to make or receive calls. All calls or text messages on such numbers can only be accessed by the person who did the welcome back.
Members of the syndicate are mostly staff of telecommunication providers. These set of people are the ones who do the ‘welcome back’ on any number to be profiled. My greatest regret was when my aged mother came to see me while I was in police custody. I pray that God will give her the health and courage to bear the pains. I can’t even begin to imagine what she would be going through right now.”
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