Kidnapping for ransom has taken a new dimension in the country with victims been till held in captive by their abductors and deprived of their physical cash and items save in the bank, while some escape, some die in the process.
Brand Spur Nigeria gathered that thousands of Nigerians are kidnapped yearly, and the menace had worsened within the last four years of the Buhari administration.
This year, victims have included the APC chairman, Universal Basic Education (UBEC) Boss, university dons and and students.
In April, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, made mention that terrorists and kidnappers had started making ransom demands in cryptocurrencies.
What this means is that they don’t want the money traceable however these new audacity to demand for people’s hard money forcefully and then have it keep in the bank is baffling.
Nigerian Lament How Banks ‘Aide’ Kidnappers Escape After Accessing Their Cash
According to Daily Trust, some Nigerians have complained of how banks make it difficult to retrieve information about criminals who defraud unsuspecting members of the public using bank accounts.
Hamisu Ibrahim, an Abuja resident, recalled how ‘bureaucracies’ in Nigerian banks made him lose money to a criminal group after he was made to make payment.
A financial fraud expert, Umar Yakubu, said detecting criminals who follow formal financial systems is an easy thing to do, except if the will is lacking.
How Kidnappers Made Mrs. Aminat Adewuyi And Brother Pay Over N500,000 To An Access Bank Account
How FCT Kidnappers Indicted Access Bank, Escape With Customer’s Cash
The latest kidnapping trend is scary and makes one wonder if Nigerian Banks are now collaborating with kidnappers.
A recent case was a payment of over N500,000 to a Kidnapper’s Access Bank account by a Kidnapped victim identified as Mrs. Adewunmi.
Narrating her ordeal and how it happened to Daily Trust, Adewuyi said, “We boarded a bus at a junction opposite SARCO filling station, near the popular NYSC junction in Kubwa when going to Suleja Market.
“Majority of the passengers in the bus alighted at Zuba. The driver wanted to drop off the remaining few passengers also but he managed to take us to Madalla junction – the road that leads to Dakwa.
“But when we got to Madalla junction, the driver said we should board another vehicle going to Suleja. The remaining five of us (women) stopped a vehicle calling “Suleja! Suleja!!” and the bus driver settled him and we left.
“Immediately we entered, the driver ‘centrally locked’ all the doors and wound up all the windows. It was that time we knew that all the glasses were tinted. Four of us sat at the back seat, one sat together with a man in front including the driver.
“When they finished whining up the glasses, they brought out guns, knives and bottles of coke, saying we should cooperate. They ordered us to drink the coke mixed with codeine but I insisted I wouldn’t.
“The man in front raised a knife and gave me only codeine to drink but I pretended as if I had taken it. He could not do anything with his weapon because it was so tight in the vehicle.
“Some of the victims who took the coke had started sleeping before we reached the bush where they took us to.
“Despite the fact that I didn’t sleep, I can’t recognise where they took us to. I only know that the vehicle that conveyed us turned left immediately after Kwata (the popular place they are selling meat) before Suleja. Kwata is after Kwankwashe.
“Our vehicle drove into the bush and when it couldn’t go further, because the remaining road was a pathway, three persons that had already been waiting for them with bikes, conveyed us with their bikes into the deep bush.
“There was only one house in that bush. They kept us there and they were giving us bread and sachet water. One of us was released that same day because she had money in her account and transferred it to them immediately, we got there.
“They were already sharpening their knives to slaughter me after two days when they couldn’t get an alert from my husband. It was only God that saved me that day.”
Adewuyi’s husband, at the time, said he had formally reported the matter at the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Nigerian Police in Jabi.
As of the time of filing this report, effort to contact Access Bank on further updates on the issue remains negative as neither calls nor messages were responded to.
Not forgetting how fraudsters use some Nigerian banks to defraud people even online, the question remains how bad can our bank’s cyber security be or do they have people who collude with pickers?
Perception they say is important in business and if Access Bank don’t work to quickly change this narrative that is building then the bank might be in trouble.