Car thieves in Nigeria are now taking their criminal activities to another level. News reaching us here at Naijauto.com has it that they've now come up with another way to dispossess folks of their cars.
The governmental law enforcement agency in charge of investigating financial crimes in Nigeria, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, made known to the public, the new trick car robbers are now making use of to steal the cars of individuals and car dealers.
This new strategy was discovered by EFCC when they were investigating a crime allegation in Oyo State. The allegation was against a man named Babatunde Oni, who goes by this different nicknames - Oni Daniel Oluwatope and Olu Daniel.
EFCC has exposed many finance frauds of criminals
According to EFCC, the new trick involves issuing dud cheques to people who are selling their cars, followed by heading to the bank to deposit the agreed amount into the individual or car dealer's account. After which, the car robbers will go back to the individual or car dealer with an authentic bank slip that has the bank stamp on the slip. Later on, the car dealer will get a call from the bank telling him that it's a bounced cheque, and there isn't enough money in the depositor's account.
EFCC, Ibadan Zonal Office released this report and they went further to say that these issued cheques were stolen cheques, which they believe the owners have reported their loss, yet the car thieves act as though it belongs to them.
Babatunde is said to be an indigene of Kogi state, in Odo Eri, Yagba West Local Government Area. And he was recently apprehended by EFCC Ibadan Zone for conniving, stealing and issuing of bounced cheque. This was brought to their attention by a petition one Mr. Kamoru Yekini wrote to EFCC on November 21st, 2018.
In the written petition, Mr. Yekini said he was approached by two men at his shop located at Iwo town, in Osun state, on October, 16th, 2018. And that both men showed an interest in buying a Toyota Matrix 2006 model he had put on display for sale.
Criminals issuing false dud cheque are popular in Nigeria
After the price was negotiated on, they settled for ₦1,580,000. They gave the car dealer a post-dated cheque with First Bank written on it. The cheque was bearing Rabiu Bamidele Lateef as the owner. Babatunde covered up his shady act by posing as the driver of the other guy who's now a suspect. The other guy presented himself as the owner of the cheque, saying he is a doctor working at Bowen University Iwo.
After they've settled on what they are paying for the car, Bamidele went straight to the bank to deposit the money and came back with a deposit slip copy as proof that he has made the payment.
The car dealer, Mr. Yekini, said he wasn't comfortable with the method of payment but reluctantly gave out the car, together with its custom duty papers to the two guys. He was looking forward to keeping in touch with the buyer via his phone number in case an issue arises.
According to Mr. Yekini, he received a call from his bank, telling him that the cheque didn't pay any money as there were insufficient funds in the depositor's account. He tried reaching back to the two suspects but it didn't yield any result as the information that was given to him ended up to be falsified.
The whole drama prompted him to write a petition to the EFCC requesting for assistance. The agency went into action when they received the petition and found the Toyota Matrix in Abuja, already sold out to a lady for ₦1.8 million. On further investigations, the car was tracked back to Babatunde and he was nabbed where he was hiding in Abuja.
As he was cooling off in EFCC custody, another similar complaint came in. This issue happened on September 7th, 2018. According to the complaint, two men visited the petitioner's filling station that's around Makola Ibadan, in Oyo state. They came to purchase a Toyota Avensis 2007 model he had put up for sale. After they made some negotiations with the car dealer, they settled to pay for ₦2million. Bamidele again gave the car owner a cheque for the amount. Babatunde also claimed to be a driver to the supposed wealthy man he came with. He again took the cheque and headed to the car seller's bank to repeat the same thing he does.
The two suspects were testing the car when the car dealer asked them to hold on so he could confirm the transaction from his bank account holder.
However, before he could get through, to the bank, Babatunde and Bamidele (his partner) dashed off with the car, having collected the keys and car documents. The cheque issued turned out to be bounced.
The public is warned to be careful while trying to sell their cars. They should confirm the payment before releasing the car keys and papers.
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