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Saturday

How dismissed Lagos civil servant used fake bank statements, alerts to secure multi-million loans

Call him evil genius, you’ll not be wrong. And this is why operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Lagos State Police Command are grilling him to unravel his web of criminal exploits.
Olaogun Babatunde Amos aged 31 is now cooling his heels behind bars for  allegedly using fake statement of account and bank alerts to defraud unsuspecting victims.
He is said to have used these forged documents to take millions of naira from several Microfinance banks in Lagos State.
He was picked up when his latest victim, a computer dealer alerted the police that Amos took goods worth millions of naira from him with no plans of paying back. According to the police, as soon the news about his arrest broke, other victims besieged the station alleging that he defrauded them through fake bank statements and alerts.
Debts led me into crime
At the police station, Amos who has no property or investment in his name told Saturday Sun that he is indebted to the tune of N20million most of which he got from banks.
“I am not a criminal; I was just finding a way out to pay my debts. I owe about N20million and it was my quest to offset this debt that landed me in trouble. My trouble could be traced back to 2013, when I had an opportunity to supply furniture worth millions of naira. Out of desperation, I gave a quotation that was below the cost price, so I got the contract. My calculation was to gain their trust with the hope that I will cover up when more contracts come my way. It did not work as planned and the bank that I borrowed from came after me.
“It cost me my job as a staff at the Government House, Alausa because I was taking advantage of any opportunity I get in the office to raise money. To meet up, I started borrowing money again. On my own, I discovered a method that I could use to collect loans from microfinance banks.
“My plan was to collect loans, invest and make money which I will gradually use to service all my debts. It was the money that I got that I used to open a lounge on Awolowo Road in Ikeja. It was the same method that I used to convince one importer of computers to give me goods worth millions. I took the goods and sold them less than the cost price to mop up cash. I was hoping to make some money somehow, before they discovered that I was worth nothing,” he said.
On how he managed to create bank statements, Amos said that he studied the online statements that banks normally send and discovered that they can be edited. “They used Microsoft excel to create the bank statement. All I did was to edit it and expand the amount of money in the account. What people normally do is just to check the balance without confirming the content. I only edit the first page and print it out. It was the statement of account that I presented to all the microfinance banks and they granted me loans.”
“On the bank alerts, I also know how to edit it to look as if it originated from the bank. Give me a computer and I will do the magic for you,” he boasted.
He identified some of the microfinance banks as Addosa where he collected N4million. Others are Page, Credit Ville, Empire Trust and Omnibus Foundation.  “I still owe those banks. I took the money with the hope that I will invest and make much gain. The lounge which was supposed to be a money spinning business also failed me. The more I try to settle my debts, the more I slip into more debts.”
He pleaded for more time to pay off his debts insisting that he is not a criminal. “It was all those debts that landed me in trouble. I am not a criminal; I just devised a smart way to convince people to give me money.”

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