Home crime Mechanic Turned Cyber Criminal Arrested In Lagos For Stealing Phones, Transferring Funds from Stolen SIM Cards

Mechanic Turned Cyber Criminal Arrested In Lagos For Stealing Phones, Transferring Funds from Stolen SIM Cards

by Admin

By fabulous reporter


In a significant breakthrough, the Zone 2 Command of the Nigerian Police Force has successfully apprehended a trailer mechanic, Ogbonnaya Junior Duru, who has been operating as a cybercriminal involved in stealing mobile phones and transferring funds from stolen SIM cards linked to bank accounts. 

The arrest follows meticulous investigations initiated by Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2 Command, AIG Ari Mohammed Ali, who received intelligence reports about a syndicate of young Nigerians engaging in these illegal activities.

According to an official statement signed by Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, SP Hauwa Idris Adamu noted that Ogbonnaya Junior Duru, a native of Orlu Local Government Area in Imo State, was arrested after intensive efforts by operatives from the Zonal Enquiry Bureau, acting on AIG Ari Mohammed Ali’s directive. Duru confessed to being introduced to this criminal enterprise by his friend, Kareem, in 2019, and he had been actively involved in these illicit activities since then.

The syndicate who simply identified themselves as Praise, Emmanuel, Osaron, and others, specialized in stealing mobile phones through various means, including pick-pocketing and one-chance robberies. Once they obtained the SIM cards, they turned to Duru, who determined which bank(s) the SIM cards were linked to, checked the account balances, reset the USSD pins, and initiated fund transfers from the victim’s account. These illicit proceeds were then directed to accounts provided by another syndicate member known as Joshua, alias ALERT, who is currently at large. Joshua received a 20% share of the stolen funds and returned the remaining 80%, either in cash or via transfers, to Duru. Duru retained 40% of this amount and delivered the remaining 40% to the individual who supplied the BVN/Bank linked SIM card.

Duru further revealed that other suspects from Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River States consulted him for his services, sending consultation fees for his assistance. He disclosed that he had fraudulently transferred amounts ranging from One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) to a maximum of One Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,400,000) from various accounts. The operation was characterized by swift fund availability, with Joshua (ALERT) operating multiple accounts across different banks to facilitate quick sharing of the proceeds.

When questioned about the number of SIM cards he had used for these fraudulent activities, Duru admitted to working on an average of 5-6 SIM cards weekly but was unable to provide an exact count. He also noted that certain banks, including UNION BANK, FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA, FIDELITY BANK, ECO BANK, WEMA BANK, and STERLING BANK, posed difficulties for him in transferring funds, while UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA (UBA), FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK (FCMB), POLARIS BANK, ACCESS BANK, GUARANTEE TRUST BANK (GTB), and STANBIC IBTC BANK were relatively easy targets.

The Nigerian Police Force is urging members of the public to exercise caution and safeguard their belongings securely. At the same time, criminals are sternly warned to vacate Lagos and Ogun States, both falling under Zone 2 Command, as the law enforcement agencies remain relentless in their pursuit of criminal activities within the region.

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