Operatives of Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command on Friday arrested a lady, her boyfriend, and two others for stealing an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card which belonged to one Musa Alli.
They also allegedly withdrew over N300,000 from the account.
The lady, Bamigboye Imoleayo, 24, was arrested by the operatives at a club (name withheld) in Surulere area of Lagos for the crime. The police later arrested three other accomplices including her boyfriend, Adeyinka Ayodele, the same day in Itori, Ogun State.
Mr. Alli, the victim, who reported the case at the RRS’s office in Alausa, said he met the suspect at a club in Surulere penultimate Friday, the police said in a statement on Sunday.
He said the lady stole his ATM card, after memorizing his Personal Identification Number (PIN) during an online transfer of funds into his friend’s account.
“I thought I had misplaced the card not knowing that the lady had stolen it and thereafter glimpsed at the PIN for withdrawal,” Mr. Alli said.
The victim said he was shocked on Saturday afternoon when he received alerts amounting to N90,000 withdrawals.
“While I was still contemplating on how to deal with the issue, I got another debit alert for buying two Infinix phones totalling N84, 000, I was confused and shocked. I didn’t know what action to take on a Saturday evening.”
On Sunday, Mr. Alli said there was another debit alert on his phone.
“I couldn’t pin the crime to the lady I met at the club,” he said.
“I lodged a complaint on Monday morning at my bank and I was told that the withdrawals and shopping were legitimately made by me.
“I reported the incident at the RRS’s office on Monday after informing my bank. My emphasis to the police were the withdrawals and shopping totalling N300, 000.
“It was unbelievable for me when I was face to face with the suspect, the lady I met at the club. And, she explained everything.”
The police said Ms. Imoleayo admitted, during interrogations, that she pocketed the victim’s ATM card when he slept off during their conversation at night in the club.
“Initially, I had spied on and crammed his PIN when he was sending money to his colleague via mobile app,” she said.
“I committed this offence because I was so desperate to re-stock my shop at Wasimi in Ogun State, and also to take care of my only daughter.
“I never had a rethink while committing the crime. Although, I regretted my action now.”
The suspect said her boyfriend accompanied her while she withdrew and spent the money from the ATM card.
“After I spied on his PIN during a particular banking transaction on his phone, I intended to only withdraw N20, 000 out of his bank account and then destroy the card,” said Ms. Imoleayo.
“However, when I withdrew the money, and checked the account balance, I was shocked to see his balance. Afterwards, I withdrew another N70,000 again making N90,000 that day.
“Then, the following day, I called my boyfriend, who instructed me not to destroy the card, but I should come straight to Itori, Ogun State, where he resides.
“On getting to him, he called two of his friends, Abimbola Akintanna and Owolabi Bamidele, to use the ATM at any nearest bank.”
She added that they took the card to a shopping mall in Abeokuta, the following day, where they bought phones and clothes.
“We thought by going this far nobody could trace us. We bought two android phones for N84,000 at a phone store,” she said.
“We proceeded to a boutique where four of us bought clothes worth N126,000. I recharged my phone with another N2,500 worth of recharge card. The money spent from the account was over N300,000.”
Two Android phones, eight pairs of trousers and shirts were recovered from the suspects during a search of their houses.
Dolapo Badmus, the Lagos State police spokesperson, confirmed the arrest, and urged the public to always protect their PIN during any banking transaction.
The suspects and exhibits recovered have been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, for prosecution, according to the police.