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Fear grips bank customers in Enugu

*As bandits trail their movements

BY FRANCIS IGATA, ENUGU

Palpable fear has engulfed bank customers who withdraw substantial amount of money in the Coal city, Enugu following rising cases of armed robbery attacks as they leave bank’s premises.

As a result of this, many customers are now afraid of going alone to banks to withdraw cash.  They normally go with two or three friends or brothers.

Day light robbery
Crime Guard gathered from a victim who nearly lost N.4m he withdrew from a bank at the popular and ever-busy Presidential road, recently, that the armed robbers operated in daylight and disappeared from the scene after onlookers confronted them.   He said they followed him from the bank to his office where they vandalized his car in search of the money.

•Interior of the vandalized car
•Interior of the vandalized car

How it happened
His story: “I was accompanied by one of my friends, a journalist to Presidential road where I withdrew the sum of N400,000. We went to the bank in a golden colour, Honda 2005 model. The bank staff, an average height, pregnant, dark in completion lady, paid me over the counter against banking ethics which stipulates that huge sums be paid behind closed doors.  The money, paid in a mixture of N1, 000 and N500 denominations, was contained in a black sack.

“We therefore left the bank after I hid the sack containing the money beneath the front passenger’s seat. We drove straight from the bank to Edinburgh where we were to use an internet business centre. The car was parked precisely on the road where other motorists parked in front of Champion Newspaper Office.

“After spending barely ten minutes at the internet business centre which was one pole away from where we parked, on approaching the car, we noticed that scores of onlookers had gathered round the car. Close observation showed that the driver’s door glass as well as the passenger’s door glass were smashed.  The incident happened about five meters away from Vanguard Media Limited Office in Enugu.

Eyewitness account
“When I confronted the onlookers, they said that a man hopped down from a Green Golf car with Registration No, BG 795 KCE, tied a handkerchief on his hand and smashed the door glasses.”

Continuing, the eyewitness revealed that the huge dark in completion man was armed while his accomplice behind the driving wheels of the golf car revved   the get-away-car  Intermittently while the operation lasted.

Newspaper distributor’s account
A Newspaper Distributor who simply gave his name as Dan told Crime Guard that; “We were confused as this whole thing happened within a few seconds. The golf car was revving just beside the Honda when the huge dark in completion man hopped down from the car. He quickly tied his handkerchief on the right hand and smashed the door glasses on the driver’s side.  His hand disappeared into his waist and reappeared with a shot gun. He made to jump inside the Honda when some us mustered courage and raised alarm. The armed robber quickly ran into the golf car and drove off.     The owner of the car appeared seconds after the incident to see his damaged car.  Luckily, the bandits could not gain access to where he hid the money before we intercepted them.”

Poor response by banks
Investigations showed that many customers had fallen victims to such attacks in different parts of Enugu and its environs.  Worse still, the victims complained bitterly that officials of the banks where they withdrew the money normally treat their complaints with levity. One of the victims who pleaded anonymity alleged that some bank officials connive with the bandits to perpetrate the act because as soon as you withdraw huge sum of money, the robbers will trail you from the banks and later dispossess you of your hard-earned money. We are sure that they have reliable contact inside the banks who informs them about such withdrawals.”

Police intervene
It was learned that the victim later reported the case at Ogui Police station where they were assured that thorough investigations will commence over the matter.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.