How phone thief, banker used victims’ SIM cards to steal money from bank accounts

571, Christian Amechi

Christian Amechi, a staff of a new generation bank(name withheld), and a phone thief, Akeem Apejoye, have told story of how they conspired with four others to steal bank customers’ deposits after stealing their victims’ handsets.

Read also: Banker arrested for sending assassins to kill her ex-husband

They made the disclosure in Lagos following their arrest by the  operatives of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS).

The first to be arrested was Apeoye, a serial pickpocket whose role for the criminal group was to steal handsets and handed the SIM cards to the others for onward transmission to Amechi, who was working at the ATM customers service unit of the bank in Victoria Island Lagos.

The banker was arrested penultimate Wednesday with five other members of the syndicate. Over the course of their operation, the gang had allegedly removed over N20 million from accounts belonging to different customers.

Amechi was paraded by operatives of FSARS alongside his partners in crime. He told newsmen the modus operandi of the gang.

His word, “I grew up in Ajegunle and I know almost all members of the gang. I knew them on the street, but I was introduced into the business by one of my friends known as Osey Boy and DJ. I attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I read Banking and Finance. I am an ATM card system analyst.

“Osey Boy and DJ are referred to as the gang “shooters”. What it means is that they could  remove bank secret code numbers, particularly the BVN from phones. The moment any member of the gang laid his hand on stolen SIM card, they would dial the USSD number and with this they would  access the owner’s BVN. That is if the owner does online banking. Once this is done, they will send me the six last digits with which I could access the owner’s account. My job is to ascertain how much is in the account and at times help transfer money to the person who provided me the information.

“The gang could then transfer at least N200,000 per transaction into their own account from where they will have easy access to the stolen funds.

“The gang pays me between N10,000 to N15,000 per transfer and I have lost count of how many of such transactions we have done in the past. In all, I have made at least N150,000 and I used part of it to upgrade my certificate.

He added that  the gang often do a welcome back of some of the telephone numbers he generated saying “What happens in this case is that the original owner of the line would not be able to make or receive calls. All calls or text messages on such numbers can only be accessed by the person who did the welcome back. The gang members are staff of Telecommute Tin Providers. This people are the ones who do the welcome back for the gang on any number to be profiled.



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