The police say the farmer has been involved in serial impersonation of bank customers and withdrawal of money from their accounts.
The Police Special Fraud Unit, SFU, has arrested a 54-year-old farmer for fraudulent withdrawals of money from customers’ accounts with a new generation bank.
Godwin Diavel was arrested on March 20 at the Ogba branch of the bank in Lagos after he attempted to withdraw the N500,000 from the account of one Saheed Ademola Adegbola with a forged signature on the withdrawal slip.
In a statement, Tuesday, the police said that the suspect, upon interrogation, confessed that he was at the Warehouse Road Branch of the bank three weeks back where he got an instrument belonging to the customer and took it to Ogba Branch where he was caught.
“Investigation conducted by the bank before the suspect was handed over to SFU Detectives revealed several other fraudulent successful withdrawals and attempted ones by the fraudster using various pseudo names,” the police said in the statement signed by Ngozi Isintume-Agu, Public Relations Officer, SFU.
According to the police, Mr. Diavel has been involved in serial impersonation of bank customers and withdrawal of money from their accounts.
On October 4, 2013, Mr. Diavel was caught at the Opebi Branch of the bank where he identified himself as Samson Omobo and fraudulently impersonated another customer and attempted to withdraw the sum of N300,000 from the customer’s account, the police said.
Again, on November 19, 2013, he was at Abule Egba Branch of the same bank where he impersonated one Chinedu E. Onwutaly and fraudulently withdrew N220, 000.00.
Also sometime in 2013, he was at Abraka Branch of the bank where he succeeded in withdrawing the sum of N470,000.00 from the account of one Kabiru Mohammed Baday.
On January 29, 2014, the suspect was at the Ilupeju Branch of the bank and impersonated one Sunday Onwuabaizo and successfully withdrew the sum of N470,000.00 from his account.
One month later, he was arrested at the Ejigbo Branch of the bank where he identified himself as Peter Okoro while attempting to seek information on another customer’s account. He was subsequently held and handed over to the Police.
The police said that Mr. Diavel, who hails from Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, admitted to the crime and stated that he goes to the various bank branches, picking up used withdrawal slips by customers.
“That he will take the slips home and study the signatures before forging them for presentation. He confessed that it was the Cashier at Ogba Branch of the bank that discovered that his picture does not tally with the one on the mandate card. Also he was unable to answer correctly some questions put to him by the Cashier.
“The suspect further stated that he had succeeded on several occasions in withdrawing from customer’s account in Delta State. That he was arrested at Opebi while attempting to withdraw N300,000.00 and was handed over to Police. That the case was charged to court but was struck out because the bank did not come to give evidence. He also stated that he has no account with the said new generation bank.”
The police said that investigation is still ongoing and that it “strongly” believes that the suspect belongs to a syndicate that specializes in forging documents and defrauding innocent Nigerians and financial institutions.
“Effort is on top gear to arrest other members of the syndicate. Suspect will be charged to court, soonest,” the statement added.
In the statement, Umar Idris, the Commissioner of Police, SFU, assured account holders of Police sustained cooperation with banks to secure their deposits against activities of fraudsters.
While urging other banks to place suspected persons on nationwide alert and promptly report them to the, Mr. Idris also advised account holders to protect their personal information and always destroy used deposit/withdrawal slips before leaving the bank.
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