A man, who allegedly specialised in opening multiple accounts with different names to defraud banks, other financial institutions and unsuspecting victims, has been arrested by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos.
The suspect, late Oba Olutayo Nwachukwu, was arrested following a petition received by the unit on February 12, which alleged that the suspect appeared at Amuwo Odofin Branch of Zenith Bank to open a savings account with an already completed savings account-opening package with the name, Obiozor Ifeanyi. He was said to have identified himself as such with a National Identity Card.
The petitioner said that while the bank’s customer service office was checking the documents, the suspect went to the marketing unit and collected another savings account opening package and completed same with another name, Ogueji Nnamdi. The suspect allegedly returned to the customer service desk and presented same for account opening with another National Identity Card bearing Ogueji Nnamdi.
It was learnt that customer service officer became suspicious and she decided to search the system with phone number, 08162502677, supplied by the customer. Then, she discovered that the same person had already opened about 25 savings accounts at various branches with different names.
It was further alleged that he opened and operated a corporate account number 1012000129 belonging to Chukon Integrated Limited. He was said to have identified himself as Okonkwo Nwachukwu while opening the said account.
Police said the suspect is 39-year-old and from the Okija Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Spokesperson to SFU, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, said: “He is into cargo business and used to accompany goods from China to Lagos. He stated that his office is located at Block 4, Shop 169 A.P.T. Market Trade Fair, Lagos.
She said: “The suspect confessed to the alleged crime, but stated that the multiple accounts he opened was to enable him run his business successfully. He said the current cashless policy did not allow him to withdraw huge sums of money in one account and as such, he was advised to open multiple accounts so as to spread his money. He added that he had N50,000.00 each in 15 different accounts, while the remaining accounts have N20,000.00, N10,000.00 and N5,000.00 respectively. He equally confessed that the National Identity Card and PHCN bills were all forged by one Pepper who is still at large. The suspect came back from China on January 27 and started the multiple account opening from February 5 to February 7 when he was apprehended. Investigation is on-going to unravel the motive behind the multiple account opening.”
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Unit, DCP Zubairu Muazu, advised banks to properly scrutinise their account-opening customers. He commended the Zenith Bank management for their quick discovery of the antics of the suspected fraudster and advised other banks to be on the alert.