Chris Steven, Abuja
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto Zonal Office, on Tuesday arrested an alleged serial cash transfer fraudster, Bashar Umar Abdullahi, (a.k.a Abdu Abdullahi and Bashir Abdullahi) who have defrauded some unsuspecting victims, the sum of N151,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty One Thousand Naira) by leading them astray at ATM pay points.
One of the petitioners, Tukur Aliyu Achida, alleged that on March 16, 2019 he went to Zenith Bank ATM point along Abdullahi Fodio Road Sokoto to withdraw money from his account.
There, he met the suspect whom he requested for his assistance to help him withdraw money from the ATM.
He alleged that on reaching his home, he realised that Abdullahi has transferred the sum of N20, 000.00 (Twenty Thousand Naira) out of his Zenith Bank account to his own account.
During the course of investigation, two other complaints were received by the EFCC against the same suspect.
On May 2, 2019 for instance, one Sada Abubakar came with a complaint that on Sunday, April 28, 2019, he went to Polaris Bank ATM point at Dogon Daji House, Sokoto to make some transactions.
Unable to operate the machine, he was approached by an unknown person (Abdullahi) at the ATM point, who offered to assist him to do the transactions.
He alleged that he gave him his ATM card and that Abdullahi further requested for his phone number and details of account to which he wanted to transfer the money to.
Abubakar said that to his surprise, Abdullahi had fraudulently transferred the sum of N50, 000 to another account with beneficiary details as Bashar Abdullahi, Jaiz Bank with account number 0004563413.
Upon the receipt of the complaint, the Commission swung into action, and despatched an investigator to JAIZ Bank, who laid in wait for the suspect.
However, it happened that one Tukur Ibrahim, another victim of Abdullahi showed up in the bank, complaining to the bank officials that on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 he went to ATM point to make withdrawals and that someone borrowed his mobile phone on the ground that he wanted to use its calculator.
Ibrahim soon found out that the person had made away with his phone and later realised that the sum of N81, 000.00 (Eighty-one Thousand Naira) has been transferred from his account using his missing mobile phone. When the bank officials investigated the transaction, it was discovered that the amount was transferred by same Abdullahi to his own account.
Investigations reveal that there are several other ATM transfers into the Abdullahi’s account from different unsuspected victims.
Abdullahi who has confessed to committing the crimes, revealed that his modus operandi was to loiter around ATM points, looking for people who do not know how to operate the machine, whom he will offer to assist and in the process, fraudulently transfer their money into his own account.
The suspect is presently in the custody of the EFCC and would soon be charged to court.