The police in Kano have arrested Bashir Peter Bala, accused of specialising in defrauding unsuspecting ATM users in the state metropolis.
Bala, 22, usually comes from Gombe State to perpetrate his crime in Kano, the police said.
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Kano/Jigawa Chronicle gathered that the suspect allegedly used vinyl black tape to block the dispensing chamber of the machines so that when the bank customers come for withdrawal, the money would get stuck in the machine even after they had been debited for successful transactions.
The suspect said he chose Kano to perpetrate his crime because of the size and population of the city, making it difficult for anyone to identify him.
“I can’t do this in Gombe because it is my home state; everybody knows me. That is why I come to Kano where no one knows me to carry out my business,” he added.
In his confessional statement, the suspect said he had been on the act for over three months and had generated about N300, 000 from the crime.
“Each time I come to Kano to buy a phone, I would, through this means, dupe people at the ATM points.
“I use an improvised plastic, coat it with sellotape and block the dispensing part of the machine so that when anybody carries out a transaction on the machine, the money will get trapped by the sellotape.
“The machine will count the money and the person will be debited but the money will not come out and when that person leaves after the frustrating experience, I will come out and remove the tape along with the money,” he said.
The spokesman, Kano police command, DSP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, who confirmed the arrest of the suspect, said many residents and banks had lodged complaints about the mysterious ATM transactions.
“The implication is that even after the unsuccessful transaction, the customer does not have a moral ground to confront his or her bankers for refunds because the money had already been cashed through dubious means,” he said.
The police spokesman said the state Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Shua’ibu Dikko, had already ordered the transfer of the case to the CID unit for an investigation, adding that once the investigation is concluded, the suspect would be charged to court.
He cautioned ATM users in the state to always be vigilant whenever they visit ATM points for transactions and to immediately alert security personnel at the bank once they notice any issues with their transactions so as to avoid being victims of similar fraud.