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23.06.2024 Featured GTB ATM Held Auto Dealer’s Card, Then N810,000 Left His Account

Published 23rd Jun, 2024

By Tola Owoyele

Ikechukwu Chukwuonye, a Lagos State-based auto dealer, has narrated how N810,000 mysteriously vanished from his Union Bank account.

Chukwuonye told FIJ that the money was stolen from his account on June 12, after he attempted to withdraw some cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) belonging to a Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) branch.

According to the dealer, the GTB branch where the incident took place is located in Ladipo Spare Parts Market in Mushin, Lagos.

“That Wednesday evening, I decided to visit that particular GTB branch at Ladipo Market because I needed to withdraw some cash that would serve as my transport fare home,” Chukwuonye said.

“My intention was to withdraw N5,000 from the machine. After I slotted in my debit card, however, I discovered I could not proceed with my transaction.

“While my card was still inside the machine, it neither gave me the option to proceed with the withdrawal I needed to make nor ejected the card.

READ ALSO: Abuja Contractor Borrowed N3m to Pay Brother’s Tuition in Canada. GTB Withheld It

“While this went on, one of the security guards working at the branch came to me and said the machine had swallowed my card. He also said I would have to go to Union Bank, my bank, to request for a new debit card.

“I waited for a few additional minutes to see whether the machine could still automatically eject my card, but when that did not happen, I eventually left the bank premises.”

N810,000 GONE!

Union Bank Statement Reflecting the N810,000 Theft
Union Bank Statement Reflecting the N810,000 Theft

Ten minutes after Chukwuonye left the GTB branch, a shocking incident happened.

“Ten minutes after I left the branch, I suddenly received a debit alert of N800,000,” Chukwuonye said.

“I was shocked and almost fainted on the spot. When I regained a little bit of composure, I sprinted back to the GTB branch to tell the security guard, who had initially told me to go lodge a complaint at my bank, what had happened.

“When I got there, the particular security guard who referred me to my bank was no longer there. I only met his colleague, who became unnecessarily aggressive and would not do anything to assist me.

“As I was trying to further explain things to him, I received two additional debit alerts of N5,000 each. This then meant that whoever retrieved my card after I left the branch’s premises had stolen N810,000 from my account.

“At that point, I quickly ran to a nearby police station to lodge a complaint but was told by the officers I met to go to my bank and tell them what had happened.”

Chukwuonye could no longer visit any Union Bank branch that day because dusk had already come.

“When the police would not offer any assistance, I returned to that GTB branch, and this time, the security guard who first told me to go to my bank had returned to his post,” said the auto dealer.

READ ALSO: GTB Places Restriction on Customer’s Accounts Over N586,000 Fraud He Self-Reported

“I then told the two of them that I would be returning to their branch the following day to find out what had happened to my money, but they instantly started saying I should not bother coming back and that I should just go straight to my bank to lodge a complaint.

“Throughout the period, the two guards acted in a highly suspicious manner.”

THE GUARDS’ SUSPICIOUS ACTS

When Chukwuonye insisted he would be back at the GTB branch the following day, the two security guards told him to come around 6 am.

“Their latest comments threw me off balance, and my suspicion that they might have a hand in how my money disappeared became very strong. When I demanded to know why I needed to return to the branch that early, they did not give me a convincing answer,” said Chukwuonye.

“I then told them that I stay in a very far place and that coming back at 6 am was not an option for me. I later added that I would be at the branch by 8 am.

“This was when one of them suggested that I find somewhere close to spend the night and come back at 6 am in the morning.

“The suggestion no longer made any sense to me, and I told them I would be back when the bank officially opened at 8 am. One of the guards then accused me of being stubborn, but I ignored him and left.”

READ ALSO: N2.95m Vanished From GTB Customer’s Account. He Fainted

‘MEANINGLESS VIDEO FOOTAGE’

The following day, Chukwuonye first went to Union Bank to have his debit card blocked. After this, he wrote a complaint letter, documenting what had happened at the GTB branch.

“That Thursday, I later returned to the GTB branch, and as soon as one of the guards from the night before saw me, he tried preventing me from entering the banking hall,” Chukwuonye said.

“After I eventually managed to force myself in, the security officials inside the branch did not even wait for me to explain myself before they showed me video footage that made no sense to me.

“They only showed me someone trying to withdraw cash from the ATM; I did not see the person’s face, and I also did not see myself in the video.

“It was meaningless footage. They were trying to make me believe that the thief could have been the person who stood at my back while I was in the cash withdrawal queue.

“I, however, did not buy the story and demanded to see the part where the security guard came to me when my card got swallowed, but they would not show me that.

“They also refused to show me the moment I got to the ATM point, when I slotted in my card, when my card got trapped, when the security guard came to meet me and what happened after I left the premises.

‘The video part they showed me did not in any way help me get to the root of the matter. Finally, they insisted that that was the only available footage they could show me.”

READ ALSO: One Arrested As GTB Refunds Customer’s Missing N2.95m After FIJ’s Story

BRANCH MANAGER WASN’T ALSO HELPFUL

Chukwuonye subsequently demanded to see the manager of the branch.

“When I saw the manager, he was not in any way helpful. All he did was refer me back to my bank for a solution,” said the auto dealer.

“Now, myself and my family are without money as a result of the incident.

“GTB has not in any way been helpful in helping me get my money back. I strongly suspect the two guards who were on duty on the evening of June 12.

“One of them goes by the name Matthew. I am convinced they had a hand in how N810,000 was stolen from my account.”

FIJ sent an email to GTB’s customer care and electronic fraud units on Thursday, but it had not been responded to at press time.

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Published 23rd Jun, 2024

By Tola Owoyele

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