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Depositor loses N350,000 to fraudster in banking hall

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A shop assistant, Nojeem Ogundele, who lost N350,000 to a fraudster at Wema Bank, Aiyetoro branch, Ogun State, has accused the bank of nonchalance in helping him to retrieve the money.

The incident happened around 1pm on October 12 when Ogundele’s boss, Obi Emmanuel, sent him to deposit the money into a business account.

However, a man, who came out of the bulk room, instructed him to fill out three tellers, after which he collected the money from him and went back to the bulk room.

The victim said he later discovered that the suspect was a fraudster.

He said, “Last week, my boss sent me to deposit N350,000 at the Aiyetoro branch of Wema Bank and when I got there, customers were many outside the bank.

“A man suddenly came out of the bank and told the security men that they should let those of us who wanted to deposit huge sums of money into the bank.

“After I entered, the same man came to me and asked how much I wanted to deposit and when I told him, thinking he was a bank official, he gave me three tellers and told me to fill in the details.

“I was waiting for the signed copies from the bulk room and when it was taking too long, I raised the alarm.”

The bank’s closed circuit television camera captured the suspect’s face, but the bank denied he was a worker.

The case was reported at the Aiyetoro Police Station by Nojeem’s boss, who told our correspondent that the bank and the police were foot-dragging on the matter.

Emmanuel said, “Since we reported the case to the police, both the bank and the police have not done much to ensure I get my money. I am just a small businessman and that money means a lot to me.

“We later learnt that this kind of a thing has been happening recently in that bank.”

The bank’s branch manager, Sharafadeen Awayeti, confirmed the incident, but claimed Ogundele might have been hypnotised.

He said, “First, the man in question wore native attire and aside from Fridays, we don’t wear native clothes to work.

“Also, this is not the boy’s first time of depositing money for his boss in our bank, so we feel that he may have been hypnotised by the criminal who made away with the money.

“We gave all necessary assistance to the police when they came here to investigate and since investigation is ongoing on the matter, let’s wait for them to conclude their work.”

A financial expert, Dolapo Olayemi, said banks must ensure that their workers could be easily identified by customers, as such frauds had become rampant inside banking halls.

The state police spokesperson, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he would get back to our correspondent on the incident.

He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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