Car thieves have resorted to a new trick to steal cars from individuals and car dealers by issuing stolen or dud cheque.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday, April 15, 2019.

According to the statement, the commission said it discovered this while investigating the petitions against one Babatunde Oni who is also known as Olu Daniel.

The anti-corruption body, however, urged the public to be alert when transacting business with people they do not know.

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 a dud cheque, following a petition received from Mr. Kamoru Yekini on November 21, 2018.

The petitioner had 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 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.

Babatunde, according to the petition, 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 back with a copy of the deposit slip, as evidence of payment of the agreed sum.

The car dealer reluctantly released the vehicle and the Custom Duty papers, with the hope that he would contact the ‘buyer,’ through his telephone number if any issue arose. It was not until the following day when he got a call from his bank that the cheque was returned unpaid; due to insufficient funds in the account.

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