A Nigerian journalist and former United Nations employee was busted for robbing four Manhattan banks — all during his lunch hour, authorities said.
Nigerian journalist arrested for robbing four US banks
According to New York Post, Abdullahi Shuaibu, 53, was picked up by cops on Monday and hit with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery for the crimes committed during his two-month spree.
All four banks are within walking distance of his office at the Foreign Press Centre inside the US Mission to the United Nations, which is across the street from the UN building.
The Nigerian native works as a journalist for an African news agency, police said.
Authorities were led to the thief after a retired police officer who works as a guard at the US Permanent Mission to the UN recognised Shuaibu from a surveillance image previously released by the NYPD.
“It wasn’t hard [to recognise him],” the guard told The Post. “He comes in and out of here every day.”
In the first incident, Shuaibu walked into a Santander Bank on Madison Ave. near E. 43rd St. on February 27 and told the teller he had a gun.
The bank employee complied and handed Shuaibu an unknown sum of money.
He hit two more banks during the month of March, first striking out at a Bank of America on Third Ave. near E. 47th St. on the 13th.
He was successful in robbing a Santander Bank on Third Ave. and E. 63rd St. on the 27th.
During the most recent incident on Monday, Shuaibu walked into an HSBC on Third Ave. and E. 40th St. around 2:30pm and passed a note demanding cash to the teller.
The teller did not read the note and asked Shuaibu for identification.
He then instructed the employee to read the note, keeping his hand in his jacket pocket while simulating a gun, police said.
Police arrested him later in the day when he returned to the UN.
One of Shuaibu’s colleagues at the Foreign Press Centre said they are “all in shock right now”.
A UN spokesman said Shuaibu worked briefly for the United Nations for a couple of months in the fall of 2013, but hasn’t had access to the facility since leaving in November of that year.
“[He] is not an employee of the United Nations nor is he an accredited journalist to the United Nations,” UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.
Shuaibu was an employee of the News Agency of Nigeria and served as its UN correspondent between 2006 and 2009.
The agency, however, terminated his appointment in April 2013 following his refusal to resume work in Nigeria at the expiration of duty tour and extended period, which he requested to enable him complete an academic programme.
The termination of appointment was formally conveyed to the UN.
Dujarric told NAN in New York that the suspect was also not accredited to the UN after NAN withdrew his accreditation.
Dujarric also said the suspect only worked as a contract staff for three months in Darfur and his contract was terminated in 2012.
However, Shuaibu on his LinkedIn page, describes himself as a “communications specialist at United Nations”.
Shuaibu attended Ahmadu Bello University between 1980 and 1985, where he studied International Relations.