Operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Intelligence and Response Team (IRT) have arrested a dispatch rider for allegedly stealing a bank’s 14,000 Euro in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. According to the operatives, the suspect, Amadi Kenneth, 37, a dispatch rider, working with the said bank would have got away with the crime, but for the swift intervention of the IRT operatives, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr Abba Kyari. It was gathered that before the operatives tracked down Kenneth, he had already spent over 3, 000 Euro. The operatives recovered 11, 000 Euro. Kenneth was said to have found the money after the bank sent him to get cash bags.
The money, carefully enveloped, fell out of one of the bags. Kenneth picked the bulky enveloped, concealed it, mounted his motorcycle and rode off. After he had ridden far away from where he found the money, he stopped, opened the enveloped and his heart skipped a beat. He had expected to find money inside the envelope, but not such a huge amount. Rather than return the money, Kenneth decided to help himself to it. He said: “When I saw the money, I felt God had blessed me. I attend Salvation Ministry Church. The first thing that came to my mind after I found the money was to go and pay tithe at my church.
I also thought of opening a pharmacy for my wife, who is a nurse. The plan was that we would run the pharmacy together. The tithe would have been N600, 000. My wife didn’t know why the police arrested me.” A police source explained: “When Kenneth picked the bags and found money inside one of them, a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) captured him. The suspect was not aware of this fact.
The incident happened on May 22, at the bank’s Mile 3 branch, Port Harcourt.” The source said that Kenneth was detailed by his manager to go to Mile 3, to get cash bags and bring them to the branch where he works. The source stated: “He was supposed to pick the bags and take them back to their branch. When he got there, while checking the bags, an envelope fell out from one of them. He concealed and went away with it. When he got to the road, he counted the money and discovered that it was 14,300 Euro. He went to his house and waited, to see if the bank would find out about the money and call him. He waited for three days and when he didn’t receive any call pertaining to the money, he started spending it.
“He changed the money to Naira. One of his friends, Innocent, also a dispatch rider, came around. By then his office had started calling, asking his to return the envelope. He told the office that he had left Nigeria and was in Ghana. Innocent assisted him to change some of the foreign currencies to Naira.
The friend started running errands for him, including going to bank to change money for him. Kenneth started living in a hotel and used the money to buy many things. The IRT operatives tracked and located him through Innocent. Kenneth threw away his SIM card, so that nobody would get him. Innocent bought him a new SIM card. But the operatives still got him.” Kenneth, from Rivers State, said that he is married with a child. He is a school certificate holder. Kenneth recounted: “On May 21, my boss, our bank manager, Obinna, asked me to go to Mile 3 Road to bring cash bags. I used to go and pick cash bags on Mondays and Wednesday. The bags are used for bagging money.
After bagging the money, bullion vans will come and pick them. On that fateful day, when I got to the place where they used to give us cash bags, I stood and waited. I was trying to arrange the bags they gave to me, when an envelope fell out from one of them. I picked and put it into one of the bags, mounted my motorcycle and left the place. When I got to the road, I opened the envelope and discovered that money was inside. It was N14, 300 Euro.” Kenneth further stated: “I took the money and waited for three days, to see if anyone would ask about the money or say that their money was missing. It was on Monday I went to the pick the bags and from that Monday, I went to office till Wednesday, but nobody called. When no call came, I removed 700 Euro and went to change it to Naira.
The money was about N200, 000. I quickly paid my house rent. My landlord had been threatening to drag me to the police. I rented a new apartment. Before I paid for the house, I went to lodge in a hotel for three days. Each night was N4, 500.000. When the bank, where I found the money started calling me, I decided to leave the hotel. The bank asked if I found the money, I said yes.
They said I should come, but I refused to go. I went to another hotel to stay, where I paid N3, 000 per day. This time, I went with my wife and son. My wife asked me why we were staying in a hotel, I told her that the landlord was about to fulfil his threat of bringing police to arrest and eject us. We spent three days in that hotel before I gave Innocent money to get a new apartment for me.
I bought a new mattress, fixed my chairs, stocked my house with foodstuffs and bought drugs for my sick son. I also paid those I owed. I bought two phones for N11, 000. I gave my mother-inlaw N20, 000 because she was suffering from stroke.” But before he rented his new apartment, he called his friend Innocent and asked him to meet him at the hotel. Innocent asked him why he was living in a hotel with his family, Kenneth lied.
“I begged Innocent to assist me cash money from ATM because I got alert that salaries had been paid. I told him that he would also assist me to change some foreign currencies to Naira. He asked where I got the foreign money; I told him that a friend, living overseas, sent me the money,” said Kenneth. He continued: “Innocent changed 1, 000 Euro, which was about N425,000. I gave him N20, 000 in appreciation of his efforts. Later, I called again and asked him to use money with him to buy white shirt, fez cap and sunshade for me. He did, and when he returned, I refunded his N5,000.” Kenneth further confessed that he gave Innocent N260, 000 to get a new apartment. He also sent N3, 000 to his kid brother. And slowly, the money continued to dwindle.
“Police first arrested Innocent before coming for me. In fact, it was Innocent that brought the policemen to my house. My salary is N37, 000. I have worked with the bank now for eight years. It was temptation that made me to start spending the money. When the bank finally called, asking for the money to be returned, I didn’t obey because I was scared. The money belongs to the bank.” Innocent, 41, introduced himself as a dispatch rider, working with another bank.
He recalled that Kenneth told him that the foreign currencies were sent by a friend living overseas. Innocent said: “I was surprised when some strange numbers started calling me. The callers claimed that they wanted to open an account with our bank. When I finally met with the callers, they said I wasn’t the person they were after; they said they were after Kenneth. I took them to Kenneth. I feel bad for being in this mess.
I repeatedly asked Kenneth where he got the money from. I have known him for years and I have never known him to be of bad behaviour. I really don’t understand what happened to him. I trusted him. I didn’t believe he could get me into trouble. Even the bank where he works, I was the person that alerted him about the employment opportunity. Both of us used to work with another bank, before it was shut down.”
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