How I lost N1.5 million to ATM thieves through my 11-year-old son

How I lost N1.5 million to ATM thieves through my 11-year-old son

- Father to an 11-year old boy has explained how he lost his N1.5 million to some Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) thieves

- The incident occurred in Ejigbo area of Lagos state

- The suspect identified as Echefu Aku is accused of specialising in stealing ATM cards from children in the area

A Lagos resident has narrated how he lost his N1.5 million to some Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) thieves.

Chiuba Obinani said he lost the money through his 11-year-old son whom he sent to the ATM gallery at Ejigbo area of Lagos state.

He said he had sent his son to the ATM to withdraw some money for him when a stranger identified as Echefu Aku accosted him and requested for his Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Obinani said Aku, a 28 year old journalist formerly working with Silverbird Television hangs around the ATM looking for kids to prey on.

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He said: “I’m still in shock over what happened to me last month. I sent my 11-year-old son to withdraw money for me from the ATM."

That wouldn’t be the first time. But last month, someone collected my ATM card from him. The person also collected the N10,000 he had already withdrawn.

My son also disclosed my Personal Identification Number (PIN) to the thief. I’m sure my son was hypnotised. He’s a brilliant boy.”

Before I was through with my complaint at the bank, N1.5 million had left my account.

The bankers blamed me for giving my son the ATM card. They said that several people had been coming to complain that someone collected ATM cards from their children and used it to empty their accounts," Obinani lamented.

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Also, another victim of Aku's criminal tactics, 13-year-old boy called Peter, had raised the alarm when the suspect tried to play the same trick on him.

The boy raised an alarm when the stranger tried to steal the ATM card from him. Aku was caught and almost lynched immediately. Four ATM cards were found on him.

Peter said: “He collected my father’s ATM card from me and gave me an old one, which I rejected. He jumped into the parked tricycle and I shouted for help. People close by were fast enough to catch him.”

He said his father had given hi the ATM card to withdraw N5,000 for his brother who was going to write an examination.

Also, Peter's father, Pastor Austin Obinezie, who rushed to the scene, said that he was holding morning prayer session when he sent Peter to the ATM gallery.

He said he was shocked when he recieved a call that a stranger tried to collect his ATM card from his son.

“I shocked when I received a call that a thief collected my ATM card from my son. I left my church programme and quickly rushed down to see what was going on. I saw people beating the thief," Obinezie said.

It was also in the process that Obinani's son identified Aku, who specialised in stealing cards from children.

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Obinani said: “I immediately went there with my son; he identified Aku as the person that collected my ATM card from him in March.”

However denying any form of criminality, Aku said he is innocent of the allegations against him.

The suspect said: “I lodged at a hotel close to the filling station. This morning, I came to make a withdrawal. I don’t know what the boy was saying.”

"I’m not a thief! They should go to the hotel and find out if I lodged there or not," he plead to the mob. earlier reported that the police in Enugu had warned residents against releasing their ATM PINs to unsuspecting criminals.

The police urged the residents to guard their bank details to avoid being victims to a fraud syndicate operating in the state.

The Enugu command spokesperson said the advise became necessary after intelligence report showed that mischief-makers try to reap where they did not sow.

See the faces of newly arrested criminals in Lagos state - on TV


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