Police have busted a gang of fraudsters, specialised in hacking into customers’ accounts and in the process siphons millions of naira.
The Police Special Fraud Unit on Monday in Lagos announced the arrest of the 11 suspected fraudsters that included three bank officials with a new generation bank
The gang was said to have succeeded in stealing over N150m from customers’ accounts with the help of the bankers.
The unit’s spokesman, ASP Lawal Audu, told newsmen at its Ikoyi office that two of the suspects were employees of a network service provider.
The PSFU’s spokesman said that they were arrested in Lagos, Ibadan and Ilorin.
Explaining the mode of operation of the gang Audu said the job of the bankers was to provide the syndicate with information on bank customers with funded accounts that were not into internet banking.
He said that the network provider suspects usually assisted their accomplice to swap the SIM cards (GSM numbers) of targeted bank customers.
This would disallow the customers from receiving alert from their banks of any transactions on their accounts within the period that their accounts were being tampered with by the fraudsters.
The spokesman added that the suspects transferred the money siphoned from different bank customers into about 40 other accounts with ATM in different other banks.
Audu said that the suspects usually carried out their operations during the weekends and public holidays, to evade being detected by the various bank monitoring mechanisms or the owners of targeted funded accounts.
“The efforts of the police team eventually paid off when it bust the group members’ final meeting holding at an eatery in Bode Thomas Street in Surulere, Lagos State.
“There, they were planning how to unleash another monumental fraud on unsuspecting customers.
“Their plan was to defraud some new generation banks between May 26 and May 29, 2017.
“Detectives stormed the venue during which one of the major kingpins, claimed to be Alhaji Ismaeel Salami, and four members of the syndicate were arrested.
“Thirty-five ATM cards affixed with account numbers and passwords were immediately recovered from them.
“It was, however, unveiled that this criminal syndicates usually sourced these bank ATM cards from their owners, especially among the vulnerable youths.
“The syndicate usually deceives the unsuspecting card owners to release their ATM cards, account numbers and passwords for eventual monetary rewards based on the amount their cards receive,” he said.
Audu advised members of the public to be careful of fraudsters’ activities, warning them against giving out their bank details to strangers.
He said that the suspects would be charged to court soon.
He gave the names of the suspected bank officials as Oyelade Shola-Isaac, 32; Osuolale Hammid, 40; and Akeem Adesina, 33; while the network service provider employees include Okpetu John, 29; Chukwumnoso Ifeanyi, 30; and Salako Abdulsalam, (ICT specialist), 30.
Other suspects are Ismaeel Salami, 49; Akinola Oghuan, 34; Sarumi Abubakar, 32; James Idagu, 56; and Sunday Okeke, 33.