In April, 2016, the operatives of Rapid Response Squad began investigating a case of bank fraud. The investigation was caused by a lady (name withheld), who was wrongfully dismissed because of a case of fraud in one of the accounts she was managing.
As the investigations wore on and suspects after suspects were being picked up and detained, one name kept reoccurring. It was a name that would seal the investigations of crack detectives of RRS Decoy Team.
All the key players, directly connected to the fraud were arrested but Harrison was not. He was on the run. He was the mastermind, the connector between the fraud gang and bank insiders who provided bank details (account balance, phone number, e- mail etc) of high net worth individuals as well as organisations, who were targets of the scam.
The gang in collusion with bank insiders, after getting the details increase the daily withdrawal limits of their target (without the target’s knowledge), then the phone line of the account owner would be blocked temporarily or the line’s sim is swapped so that you don’t get any alert on the deal’s date.
This happened predominantly on weekends. Then, money is withdrawn in tranches. Every member of the syndicate is given his share.
On Wednesday, last week, after almost a year of being on the wanted list for three cases of fraud, RRS Decoy Team arrested Harrison.
Harrison turned out to be Ajisafe Olugbenga 47, an ex-banker with a vast bank insider network. He was implicated in a case of sim swapping in a network outlet in Surulere, Lagos and Abeokuta, Lagos.
Playing his usual role of distributing responsibilities and exploring his vast network, he had engaged Shamsudeen Olalekan, 35 and Nicholas Egbele 47 to help the gang swap sims of their fraud targets.
He had procured the two suspects with fake National identity cards and affidavits with all the information of the owners of the original owners of the two lines.
The lines being swapped were where the alerts would go while the account owners’ lines are deactivated.
Luckily, the two recruits, who had been promised N20, 000 each were arrested before the lines could be swapped.
Found on Ajisafe’s phones were several bank details from his insiders in several banks in and outside Lagos State.
His two recruits, acknowledged that they were aware that the sim swaps were to be used for fraud, but they were desperate to raise funds.
The fraudsters according to sources met in Idi - Araba, Mushin, National Filling Station in Ikeja Along, Kotangoa Market, Alimosho to perfect their plans whenever they have jobs and to share money.
Ajisafe in a statement to the police said, “about a year ago, Joe Calabar approached me that he needed someone in … Bank to increase daily withdrawal limits, I spoke to a friend Chima, who was in … Bank. Both of us met Israel at a joint in Skakhor.
The following day, we were all to meet to give a form to Chima. I noticed that too many calls were coming on my line, so I didn’t turn up for the meeting. It was later that I heard RRS had arrested Chima”.
Also arrested with the gang was a suspect, who works in a network outlet in Abeokuta. He was alleged to have been assisting the gang in sim swaps in exchange for money.
The four suspects have been transferred to the SCID, Panti for further investigations.