Ten suspected fraudsters who specialised in defrauding their victims by swapping their mobile phone SIM cards, through which they would have access to their banking details, have been arrested by operatives of the Oyo State Police Command.
Speaking while parading the suspects at the state police command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan on Thursday, the state Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu said that operatives of the command went into investigation immediately a report was made by the Security Manager of Airtel Network Limited, one Adeniyi Ige to the police that the company had been receiving complaints from customers on the withdrawal of various amounts from their bank accounts through fraudulent SIM swapping.
Olukolu stated that among the complaints was the withdrawal of N180,000 from the account of Professor Olapade O. James, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan.
The withdrawal from the professor’s account occurred on February 21, after the loss of signal on his mobile phone line.
The police boss stated further that when the network was restored, the professor started receiving notification alerts from his bank via email.
“Other complainants included one Godwin Unigbe, whose N3 million was withdrawn from his account using the same modus operandi; while Benjamin Udo Bassey lost N460,000 to the syndicate.
“Internal investigation conducted by Airtel Network Limited, however, traced the SIM swapping fraud to ISON BPO, a call centre network service providers, including Airtel Network, located in Ibadan, the state capital, and this led to the arrest of three ISON staff directly involved in the fraudulent acts, namely: Omotayo Azeez, Olufade Abdulgafar and Shiyanbola Harry.
“Further investigations led to the arrest of seven others, including Adesina Peter, Odugbesan Gbenga, Efiong Udofia, Arowosegbe Adewale, Adesanlu Kayode, Onasile Abiola, and the only female among them, Temitope Fatai.”
Olukolu said the suspects had confessed to the crime and would be charged to court soon.