The anti-robbery unit of the Nigerian police force has arrested members of a fraud syndicate that specialize in stealing cheques of customers and using it to withdraw money in connivance with fraudulent bank staff.
The robbers whose modus operandi involves going to banks on the pretext of transacting business while looking out for customers who are careless with their cheque books to steal, or search through waste bins of banks for unused cheques or those discarded due to errors.
After their apprehension by the policemen in Ikeja, a fake letter head of the Ekiti state house of assembly and that of the state’s ministry of finance and economic development together with two dud cheques were recovered, which the suspects say were supposed to be used to procure visas.
Luck, however, ran out on the trio of Kola Ademola, Oyedepo Adesola and Kola Osho as they were arrested last week in pipeline area of Abule-Egba following a tip-off.
Thirty three-year-old Ademola, a graduate of Business Administration and son of a retired soldier, admitted that he has been in the shady business for a while.
According to the father of two, “I am an educational consultant. I enroll students for final year examinations and extra moral classes and I also do tutorials for them. I met one Samson at Obalende who introduced me to the business. He gave me the dud cheques I was arrested with.
“The blank cheques are usually brought to us by our boys. They are not fake but original. What we do after our boys bring them, is to deliver them to insiders in banks who work on them and bring the cash. We pay them at the end of the each transaction, depending on the amount in the account.
“But the present cash-less policy is affecting us because we now deal under mandate. By that, I mean we can only withdraw less than N100,000 which would not require the presence of signatories or confirmation.
“This is the third time I brought a cheque to Mr. Osho. But he said he does not have any insider in the particular bank.
“When I took the first one to him, he told me there was no money in the account and the second cheque was also not successful.
“This is double calamity because we have not made any money from these cheques. As if that is not enough, the dud cheques have landed us in police net” said the Ikire, Osun State-born suspect.