The Commercial Crime Unit of the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested four people for allegedly defrauding three top banks to the tune of over GH¢2 million through their (banks’) Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
The four, according to Superintendent Felix Mawusi, director in-charge of the Commercial Crime Unit, had cloned cards of customers of the banks which they used in withdrawing the monies bit by bit.
The suspects are Jonathan Agambilla, 47; Emmanuel Onyebuchi Umeononoabi 27; Martin Sunday Akinwunmi, 27 and Joseph Obiasogo, 32.
One other accomplice, Paul Mbonu Elochukwu, is said to be at large.
Suspects Jonathan Agambilla and Emmanuel Onyebuchi Umeononoabi, according to police reports, defrauded the banks more than GH¢2 million with one of the banks recording loses of Gh?750,000 at the time of their arrest.
The two others, Martin Sunday Akinwunmi and Joseph Obiasogo, allegedly withdrew cash totaling about Gh¢102.243.28 from the banks before they were arrested.
The machines used in cloning the cards, including a magnetic stripe card reader and writer, computer and some quantities of the fake ATM cards were retrieved upon a search by the police.
Narrating how the suspects were apprehended, Superintendent Mawusi said the suspects were networked and were apprehended separately after the banks involved detected their fraudulent activities.
Suspect Jonathan Agambilla and Emmanuel Onyebuchi Umeononoabi on November 22, 2013 went to one of the ATM outlets of one of the banks to withdraw cash when the bank detected their dubious act and tried to cause their arrest, but Emmanuel managed to escape.
Later police investigations revealed that the two hanged around the ATM outlets to watch customers who came to withdraw money.
When they observed that a customer was struggling to cash money through the ATM, the two immediately rushed in and pretending to be helping, captured information on the victim’s card, using a device fixed onto a micro camera.
With the information captured, according to Superintendent Mawusi, the two would go back to use their electronic application and other software, including the magnetic stripe card reader and writer, to reproduce another card of the customer which they used in cashing the money from the account of the customer.
While the two were in custody assisting in investigations, one of the banks (name withheld) reported that suspects Martin Sunday Akinwunmi and Joseph Obiasogo were using a cloned ATM to withdraw cash from their ATM outlets.
According to the bank, they had lost an amount of GH¢102.243.28 to the suspected fraudsters who only operated at the regional capital branches of the bank.
The bank officials also retrieved photographs of suspects captured on the CCTV while withdrawing and handed it over to the police.
BY Linda Tenyah
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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