By Esther Onyegbula
A member of a six-man robbery gang that specialised in dispossessing victims of their phones for the purpose of hacking into their bank accounts, has said he acquired the knowledge through Google.
Parading the suspects, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said Nwanze Ifeanyi, 27; Martins Uche, 27; and Solomon Dike, 31, rob people of their phones and flee on motorcycles.
He stated that a member of the second group, Muritala Mohammed, 28 alias Swallow, using computer apps, retrieve the names and bank details of the original owner of the SIM including BVN, adding that the recovered details are used to determine the account balance.
“Monies in the account are then transferred into different accounts sourced by the third group, made up of Shamson Mustapha, 25, and Ali Hassan, 27,” Edgal added.
Swallow, said to be a secondary school dropout, disclosed that the six-member gang was divided into two groups with one of the groups responsible for stealing phones, while the other group, to which he belongs, is responsible for transferring money from victims’ accounts.
He stated that stolen phones, whose Sims are registered with banks, were major targets.
His arrest and those of his accomplices by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command, followed a complaint by one Kemi Benson, whose telephone was stolen during her son’s birthday at Egbeda area of the state, on January 20.
According to Edgal, “when the victim went for SIM card replacement, as soon as she inserted her Sim into her phone, she received a bank alert of N1.153 million transferred from her account to other banks.
“After an investigation, gangs, who specialise in dispossessing people of their mobile phones while riding on motorcycles, were apprehended.
“The gang is made up of two groups. One specialises in snatching the mobile phone and sell to the other group to generate bank details and BVN to transfer the cash.”