By Joseph Undu
AN hotel cleaner, Ahuja Sylvester, has been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of Lagos State Police Command for defrauding a company of N2 million and attempting to collect another N500 million after hacking into the company’s e-mail address.
The 30-year-old suspect was, last Friday, picked up by operatives at a hotel in Warri, Delta State.
According to a Police source, the suspect had, sometime in April, hacked into the e-mail of a Lagos-based company, posing as the Managing Director and instructing the firm’s accountant to credit his bank account with N2 million.
Using the same approach in June, the suspect again requested the payment of N500 million into another bank account. Upon detection, the company alerted the Police.
Vanguard learned that the Decoy Team of the RRS, in their investigations, discovered that the initial N2 million was withdrawn with a debit card belonging to Ahuja Sylvester.
The source told Vanguard that Ahuja, in his statement to the police, denied hacking into the account of any company, saying his friend, who he called Emmanuel, was the culprit.
He said: “I met Emmanuel, a National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, member at his work place in April. He is serving in Warri. He told me he was stranded and that somebody was going to send money to him.
“He requested that I allow him use my ATM card because he couldn’t locate his own. I released it to him with my PIN. He told me that I should alert him whenever I received a credit alert on my phone and I did.
“I expected these transactions to have been completed after two days. After almost a week, I saw him and I requested for my ATM, but he told me he was still using it.
“The next time I asked him for the card, he told me that he had misplaced it. That was how he didn’t return the debit card again.
“When I was paid my salary, I approached the bank and was told my account was having issues.
“This was the moment I got to know my account was used to do fraudulent transactions. Since then, I have not been able to trace Emmanuel. I was informed, when I started looking for him, that he was out of Warri.”
Confirming the arrest, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, stated that investigations were ongoing and that the suspect has been transferred to SCID, Panti, for further investigations.