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Prisons official, five others arrested for alleged ATM fraud

PHOTO: EFCC

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kaduna Zonal Office have arrested six suspected fraudsters said to specialise in defrauding innocent Nigerians by using bank details obtained through sim swaps and Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

The suspects that were apprehended were Urulo Ikenna Henry, an Inspector with the Enugu Command of Nigerian Correctional Service, Ugonna Nelson Owete, Ugonna Samuel Okafor Obinna, Chigbo Paschal Chidiebere, Oha Chukwujekwu Kingsley and Ahamefula Francis Izuchukwu.

“The suspects were arrested in separate operations, sequel to a petition by a customer of Access Bank, alleging that monies were illegally transferred from his account without his authorisation,” the head of Public Affairs of the EFCC of Kaduna zonal office of EFCC, Zanaib Sani Ahmed, said in a statement.

The petitioner, according to Sani explained that “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 N1million from the earlier account, as opening balance.”

“The complainant said he was receiving regular alerts until the end of March 2019 when the alerts stopped coming, prompting him to demand his statement of account from the bank.

“Upon receipt of his bank statement, he discovered to his chagrin that the sum of two million nine hundred and eleven thousand four hundred and eighty naira (N2,911,480 m) had fraudulently been transferred to several accounts between April 5 -9, 2019 without his authorisation.”

The EFCC Spokesperson further noted, “Upon the receipt of the petition, the zonal office of the Commission immediately swung into action and traced some of the funds to three of the suspects, Samuel Okafor Obinna – N1,500.000; Chigbo Paschal Chidiebere -N210,000 and Oha Chukwujekwu Kingsley N300 000. All three were promptly arrested. ”

Further investigation, according to her, revealed that Ikenna Henry, Nelson Owete, who was earlier arrested and paraded by the Enugu State Police Command for crimes bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery, and Ahamefula Francis Izuchukwu were equally complicit in the fraud.”

“They were arrested,” Sani said.

“Upon arrest, items recovered from Urulo Ikenna Henry included a Toyota Camry, documents of 2 plots of land, 2 Nigeria Housing Fund Passbook (one belonging to him and the other bearing Ani Wilfred Ochechukwu), 17 ATM cards of different banks bearing different names, 2 Nigerian Correctional Service Identity Cards, 2 smartphones and 2 Nokia phones, 1 NHIS card, 1 voter card, 26 Starter Packs and 15 SIM cards of various networks.”

“Two sachets of Cannabis Sativa, 8 ATM cards bearing different names and banks, 6 Starter Packs, and 4 SIM cards of various networks, One empty ECOWAS Passport, 1 NDA dependant ID card and a voter card were also recovered from Francis Izuchukwu”

The EFCC added that “the suspects will soon be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”

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