Operatives of the Kaduna zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested six suspected fraudsters, including a Nigeria Correction Service officer, for defrauding Nigerians using bank details obtained through SIM swaps and Automated Teller Machines.
The suspects have been identified as: Urulo Henry,who is an Inspector with the Enugu Command of Nigerian Correctional Service, Ugonna Owete, Ugonna Obinna, Chigbo Chidiebere, Oha Kingsley and Ahamefula Izuchukwu. The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement in Abuja today Wednesday 18th September 2019, said the suspects were arrested in separate operations, sequel to a petition by a customer of Access Bank.
The petitioner had alleged that a huge amount of money was illegally transferred from his account without his authorisation. According to him, sometime in February 2019, he opened an account with Diamond Bank (now Access Bank) which he funded to the tune of N5 million and instructed the bank to open a fixed deposit account, with the sum of N1m from the earlier account, as the opening balance.
The complainant said he was receiving regular alerts until the end of March when the alerts stopped coming, prompting him to demand his statement of account from the bank.
Upon receipt of his bank statement, he discovered that the sum of N2,911,480 had fraudulently been transferred to several accounts between the 5th- 9th of April, without his authorisation.
Following his petition, the EFCC said it immediately swung into action and traced some of the funds to three of the suspects: Obinna who got N1.5m, Chidiebere, N210,000 and Kingsley who received N300,000. All three were promptly arrested. Further investigation revealed that Urulo and Owete, a known criminal, was earlier arrested and paraded by the Enugu State Police Command for conspiracy and armed robbery. Izuchukwu was equally complicit in the fraud.
“Upon arrest, items recovered from Urulo included a Toyota Camry, documents of two plots of land, two National Housing Fund passbook (one belonging to him and the other bearing Ani Wilfred Ochechukwu), 17 ATM cards of different banks and also bearing different names, two NCS identity cards, two smartphones and two Nokia phones, one NHIS card, one voters card, 26 starter packs and 15 SIM cards of various networks.”
The anti-graft agency said the suspects will be arraigned after investigations.