A car dealer in Lagos is in police custody after some Kidnappers lured him into giving them his bank account details which they used to receive ransom from their victim.
An suspected kidnapper arrested by the police
How kidnappers laundered ransom money via the car dealer
According to reports, three men had visited a car mart in the guise of buying a Toyota Camry XLE, 2003 model. The seller, John Makinde, offered to sell the car to them at ₦5 million. They left with his bank details, promising to make the payment into his account.
Keeping to their word, they paid in ₦3 million out of the agreed amount. The following day, they arrived at his office, fabricating a story about not being able to pay the complete amount. They pleaded with him to refund ₦2.5 million to them, and keep the remaining ₦500,000 for the inconvenience caused.
According to an eyewitness, Makinde was happy to have received such an amount of money on a platter of gold. Four days after, the police paid him a visit in connection to the ₦3 million that was paid into his account. Having verified that he was the bearer of the account, he was placed under arrest. He later found out that the buyers were kidnappers who used him as a cover to accept ransom. There was no trace of the ₦2.5 million naira he refunded to them.
Speaking on the issue, Lagos-based car dealer, Moses Ugwunna, advised businessmen to be wise in their dealings, and to desist from taking money they did not work for. As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clamped down on fraudulent activities with the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), fraudsters are creating new modes of operation.
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Be careful! Car dealers are now being implicated by kidnappers in receiving ransom.
Sharing his perspective, Solomon Osagwena, Executive President of the Institute of Criminology and Penology, pointed out that all hands have to be on deck to combat criminal activities by leveraging innovations to that effect. He stated that there is the need to engage people with experience in handling crime such as retired security personnel and experts for collaborative efforts.
A legal practitioner, Don Akaegbu, revealed that the situation could have been avoided if Makinde was conversant with the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of Nigeria as it is prohibited to pay such amount in cash. He advised people especially businessmen to be knowledgeable about the law regarding business transactions.