Access Bank Staff Arraigned for ATM Cards Theft, Robbery

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A 30-year-old employee of Access Bank Plc, Mr Michael Owuche, has landed in hot soup after he was allegedly involved in a robbery alongside two accomplices.

Last week, police in Lagos State last week arraigned the banker before an Igbosere Chief Magistrate’s Court in the metropolis, accusing him of conniving with the two other suspects to dispose members of the public of their phones and SIM cards at Boundary Market, Ajegunle, Lagos, and use the alleged stolen SIM cards to hacked into the victims’ accounts to withdraw money.

Mr Owuche works at the Access Bank branch at Trade Fair, Lagos and the two other accused persons are Fatai Issa, 39, and Mr Sunday Noah, 20.

The accused persons were arraigned before the court on a four count-charge of felony to wit, robbery and stealing money from bank customers accounts through online banking with various SIM cards belonging to the victims.

It was gathered that the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 2 Command, Lagos, ordered the arrest of the three suspects following complaints by those allegedly robbed by the accused persons.

Their victims were identified as Grace Lawson, who lost her Samsung Galaxy XS phone valued at N37,000 and SIM card to the accused persons; Kate Esebeimen, who lost her Y3 phone valued at N15,000 and recharge cards valued at N25,000 to the accused; One Ecobank master card belonging to Chinyere Ejiogu and one verve prepaid ATM card belonging to Jacob Ayodele Ado.

Police prosecutor, Inspector Francis Igbinosa, told the court in charge No T/01/2018, that the accused persons committed the offence on 4 and 5 December, 2017, at boundary Market, Ajegunle, Lagos.

Mr Igbinosa further stated that Michael Owuche, a staff of Access Bank, Trade Fair Branch connived with others to rob the complainants of their phones and ATM cards at boundary Market, Ajegunle and used the SIM cards inside the phones and the ATM cards to hack into the accounts of the victims and steal the sum of N250,000 from their accounts.

The offences according to the prosecutor, accused are contrary to and punishable under sections 411, 297, 329 and 287(7) of the criminal Laws of Lagos State,2015.

However, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the alleged crime.

Following their pleas of not guilty, the presiding Magistrate, Aro Lambo, granted them bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case till February 14, 2018 for mention.

Magistrate Lambo however, ordered that the three defendants be remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons, Lagos, pending when they are able to perfect the bail conditions.

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