By Taye Obateru
Jos — The increasing cases of robbery and other sharp practices linked to the collusion of bank workers is now a source of concern to bank customers in Plateau State.
Vanguard investigations revealed many cases of robbery or attack on customers by hoodlums in circumstances that point to the fact that the criminals were supplied information on the transaction made by customers by bank workers.
Cases of fraud rackets in banks where bank workers collaborate to defraud customers or collaborate with outsiders to defraud their employers using various tricks including tampering with the close circuit camera system to prevent their nefarious activities being recorded were also discovered.
Victims who shared their sad experiences with Vanguard narrated how they were followed from banks after withdrawing huge sums of money and dispossessed of such money.
The robbers, apparently acting on the tip-off from their collaborators within the bank, trail the customers and break into their cars if they stop to make any transaction along their way. In some other cases, the robbers mention the actual amount withdrawn by the customers and order them to hand it over at gun point.
The collusion of bank workers with outsiders to defraud their banks played out in one of the old generation banks in Jos, last week, where a customer travelled from Abuja to Jos to make a huge withdrawal only to return to Abuja where the account was domiciled to claim he was not the one who withdrew the money.
By some strange coincidence, the close circuit camera and the one for capturing the pictures of those who make huge withdrawals did not work when the customer who allegedly got away with a similar trick in one of the Kaduna branches of the banks some years back, made the withdrawal.
It was learnt that the senior officer who approved the payment was summoned to Abuja where he easily identified the customer who, knowing his connivance with some people within, insisted they should produce the picture taken by the camera to prove he made the withdrawal.
It was learnt that the case had been referred to the police for further investigations, especially on the suspected involvement of insiders in the scam.
A top official of one of the banks who preferred anonymity expressed concern about the development and the negative impact it is having on customer confidence but said continuous efforts were on to fish out bad eggs and deal with them.
Efforts to get official reaction from banks on the situation were unsuccessful as they referred our correspondent to the Public Relations Departments of their head offices.