Identities of suspects involved in attempted fraud at Polaris Bank

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The Nigerian Police have arrested one suspect linked to the attempted fraud on a Polaris Bank account owned by Anthony Olasele.

The arrest was made after a public accusation against Polaris Bank by Olasele, that the bank kept vital information from him and delayed him from accessing his account for four months before it was reactivated.

Backstory to the attempted fraud on Olasele’s Polaris Bank account

Ripples Nigeria had reported on May 19, that Olasele got information on May 12, that he had been declared dead in Nigeria by some fraudsters seeking to gain access to his bank account.

The yet-to-be-identified fraudsters, using a woman and a child, both of whom posed as Olasele’s wife and daughter, submitted a death certificate and other documents to back their claim that he was dead.

Olasele, who hasn’t visited Nigeria for about a decade, as he currently resides in Spain, said he was never married nor does he have a daughter – his only child is a boy, who has never visited Nigeria.

The fraudsters successfully got Polaris Bank to initiate the process of transferring the account to the fictitious wife and daughter, as next of kin, with the first step being a Post No Debit (PND) on Olasele’s account.

After learning that he had been blocked from accessing his account in February 2023, Olasele contacted Polaris Bank to understand why he couldn’t access his account, which was initially dormant.

He was told to submit some documents to get his account active, but Polaris Bank delayed opening the account for about four months and didn’t inform him that his account had been placed on PND because some individuals claimed he was dead.

Instead, Olasele learnt about the death certificate and the fraud attempt from a third party, prompting him to publicly accuse Polaris Bank on Twitter and also speak to Ripples Nigeria.

Update to the attempted fraud on Olasele’s Polaris Bank account

Following the Ripples Nigeria report and Olasele’s public condemnation, Polaris Bank reactivated his account after delaying it for four months.

In a message to Ripples Nigeria correspondent, Olasele said: “Quick update: my account is active now. I have been able to withdraw money.”

He also stated on Twitter that: “I am delighted to announce that the PND placed on @PolarisBankLtd account has been lifted and issues resolved amicably and I have access to my funds.”

How probate director ensured arrest of suspect

Ripples Nigeria had revealed that the woman who falsely reported to be his wife, identified herself as Olasele Tina, while the daughter’s name was given as Olasele Esther.

Interestingly, Tina was able to obtain a National Identity Number slip for herself and Esther, to tender as part of the document corroborating her claim that they are the wife and daughter of Olasele and also lived in the same address before his “death” at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on September 4, 2022, five years after he reportedly got “married” to her on July 8, 2017.

While the whereabouts of Tina is unknown, Ripples Nigeria gathered that the Nigerian police were able to arrest one of the suspects, who stood as one of the sureties for the fictitious wife and daughter, due to the intervention of the probate office.

The names of the sureties involved in the attempted fraud would not be mentioned in order not to affect the ongoing investigation.

“Some good news. One of the surety on the probate document has been arrested with help from the court in identifying the suspect. Hopefully we can get everyone else involved in this case,” Olasele told Ripples Nigeria.

He further stated that: “Well, it was the probate director who was shocked to learn about how she had been deceived with fraudulent information to issue a document that recognized one of the surety as a “professional surety” within the bank so which helped us to alert the police to make an arrest.”

Note that on June 7, Olasele said Polaris Bank reactivated the account which he was blocked from accessing since February 2.

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