The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has advised the general public to be vigilant in order not to fall victim to new tricks deployed by car thieves to dispossess unsuspecting Nigerians of their vehicles.
The alert is borne out of the shocking discoveries made during investigations into the allegations of crime levelled against one Babatunde Oluwatope Oni (aka Olu Daniel, Oni Daniel Oluwatope).
Babatunde, who hails from Odo Eri, Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State, was recently arrested by the Ibadan zonal office of the Commission for alleged conspiracy, stealing and issuance of dud cheque following a petition received from one Kamoru Yekini on November 21, 2018.
It was alleged that on October 16, 2018, two men approached him at his shop at Iwo town, Osun State to indicate interest in purchasing a 2006 Toyota Matrix car he displayed for sale.
After negotiation on the price, the two parties agreed on One Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira (N1,580,000), and a post-dated First Bank cheque was issued supposedly to cover the cost. The cheque bore the name Rabiu Bamidele Lateef as the account owner.
But, in order to veil his criminal intention, Babatunde allegedly acted as a driver to the other suspect (now at large), with whom he came for the negotiation. The other man falsely introduced himself as the account owner and a Doctor at Bowen University, Iwo.
Having agreed on the price, Bamidele left the scene to ‘deposit’ the money and later came with a copy of the deposit slip as an evidence of payment of the agreed sum.
Though not comfortable with the payment arrangement, the car dealer still reluctantly released the vehicle and the custom duty papers, hoping that he would contact the ‘buyer’ through his phone number should any issue arise.
It was until the following day that he got a call from his bank that the cheque has been returned unpaid due to insufficient funds.