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Zonal Command Nabs Cyber Fraudsters: Bank Portal Hackers Apprehended, SIM Cards Recovered

The Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos, successfully dismantled a syndicate engaged in hacking bank customers’ portals to steal money from various accounts. Two suspects, Yusuf Ademola (40) and Adeshina Abiodun (50), were apprehended in their hideout in the Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State, with the recovery of victims’ SIM cards used for the fraudulent transactions.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the syndicate managed to withdraw money from over 1,000 bank customers’ accounts. Their operations were well-coordinated, with members scattered across the country. Some specialized in collecting SIM cards from stolen phones, while others handled the victims’ bank information to transfer funds electronically.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the zone, AIG Mohammed Ali, explained that the arrest was made following a petition submitted by one of the old-generation banks two months ago. A team of detectives from the Zonal Monitoring Unit effectively utilized technology to trace and arrest the two suspects.

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The suspects admitted to being part of a larger network of fraudsters who used software to access bank portals and steal money from customers’ accounts. Their modus operandi involved linking a customer’s phone number to a Bank Verification Number (BVN) to facilitate the theft.

During interrogation, one of the suspects, Ademola, claimed he was merely running errands for the syndicate. He disclosed that his involvement started when a friend from Kano State asked him to help open an account using a specific telephone number. Ademola enlisted the help of Adeshina, who already had an account with the bank. Adeshina replaced the phone number on his account as requested, leading to the fraudulent transfer of N1.2 million.

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Adeshina admitted to changing the phone number on his account as instructed by Ademola, but he was unaware of the full extent of the scam.

The police are continuing their investigation and are actively pursuing other members of the syndicate who are still at large. Efforts are being made to recover funds and bring all involved to justice.

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