A 46-year-old suspect, Zakarriyah Yahaya, also known as ”His Excellency”, on Monday revealed how and his gang emptied the bank accounts of many Nigerians using lost or stolen SIM cards
Yahaya, among 39 suspects, was paraded for various crimes at defunct headquarters of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Abuja by the Nigerian police.
He explained that bank accounts of many Nigerians receiving alerts were easy to access by using their account and phone numbers.
The suspects were arrested across the country by Force Investigation Bureau of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) led by Tunji Disu, who took over recently from the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
Speaking to journalists, the suspect said, “My name is Zakarriyah Yahaya; I was born and brought up in Jos. I was arrested last month in Mabushi here in Abuja. I used to reset any SIMs that receive bank alert. I will reset it and steal all the money inside the bank account.
”I do reset it with victim’s bank account number through bank code from the first to the last number. Any bank that we get, we first use it to buy recharge card. From there, they will send us the alert. From the alert, we will now get the account number.”
He disclosed that they started the job in the last two years and no fewer than eleven members of the gang worked with him. He added they operated in three main cities: Kano, Plateau and Abuja.
He said he could not recall the exact numbers of bank accounts they’d stolen from but they had once removed N800,000 from one of the accounts.
In a release, the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, stated that the police recovered two RPG launchers, 13 AK-47 rifles, four locally made pistols, 58 wraps of dynamite, 769 AK-47 live ammunition, 14 AK-47 magazines, 30 live cartridges among others from the 39 suspects.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has reassured citizens that the Force remains committed to ensuring that perpetrators of criminal acts are brought to book and justice served to their victims.
“He enjoined members of the public to be vigilant and promptly report any suspicious act to the Police. He further advised that citizens should exercise necessary caution in the use of their mobile phones, especially those with SIM cards linked to their bank accounts. All the suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigations,” Mba said.