Photo: How We Steal ATM Cards From Unsuspecting Owners, Loot Their Accounts’

The police in Abuja has smashed a syndicate who specialises in stealing ATM cards from bank customers across the country.
The suspected members of the syndicate were identified as David Wuese, Chika Okenyi, Omotayo Bamidele and Akura Godwin.
They were arrested after complaints from members of the public to the
Inspector General Police Ibrahim Idris, who deployed his operatives at
the Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to trail and arrest the
suspects.
A source disclosed that the syndicate, who confessed to the crime during
interrogations, said that they normally stole ATM cards from
unsuspecting victims while pretending to help them solve problems at ATM
machines.
It was gathered that a member of the syndicate would approach an ATM
user who was having difficulties with the machine. They would then swap
the unsuspecting customer’s ATM card with another one from their own
pockets after they must have got the PIN of the ATM card of the
unsuspecting customer.
The suspects would then take the stolen ATM card to the nearest ATM
machine where they would check the balance in the victim’s account,
after which they would then proceed to purchase expensive mobile phones
from the account. In other cases, the suspects will also make
withdrawals to the limits of the account. The leader of the syndicate,
Wuese (27), said in an interview that the syndicate was formed in
Markurdi, Benue State from where they took their activities to several
states in the country.

He said: “The idea behind our operation was a collective one. I cannot
tell who actually brought it. But before then, we had read something
similar in the newspapers, and we modified it. “Some of the ATM cards
found in our possession were all invalid, and that was what we were
using to steal from our victims. “We don’t operate in one state.

We move from one state to the other, and after we had succeeded in
stealing a victim’s card, we would take the card to a machine where we
would check the balance in the owner’s account. “If the money in it was
less than N20,000, we would leave the money and move on to look for
other victims. But if the amount in the account was huge, we would
withdraw up to the ATM limit, then we would go to any shop where phones
are sold and by phones, which we would resell at cheaper prices.
“Sometimes,
we take the ATM cards to night clubs and hotels where we paid with
cards. “In our last operation, we bought three Samsung Galaxy Edge for
N245,000 each and we sold them for N215,000. We also bought three
Blackberry Passport for N130,000 each and sold them for N90,000. We
bought two Infinix phones for N82,000 each and sold them for N60,000. “I
can’t count the number of operations we have done, but we normally
share all the money we have made equally. “I have succeeded in buying a
Toyota Camry with my own share of our loot, but I don’t know what my
friends have done with theirs.