POS operator arrested over link with bandits
A Point of Sale (POS) operator, identified only as Mustapha, has been arrested in Zamfara state over his links with bandits.
According to Muhammad Bello Muazu, the commandants of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC), Mustapha was discovered to have transacted with bandits in Burning Tsaba community in Zurmi Local Government of the state.
He said, “the suspect told us that they put calls to him from the forest and instruct him to collect money on their behalf and keep the money with him.
“Then if they want to buy some items such as drugs, fuel and foodstuffs they send somebody directly to him to collect the money to buy whatever they want for them.
“Or sometimes they instruct the POS operator himself to use the money available to buy whatever they want for them. The transactions are usually shrouded in secrecy and are done with only known persons as confessed by Mustapha.
“This tells you that this person is particularly hired or sponsored to be doing the POS transactions for them.
Muazu said the outfit seized two POS devices from the suspect, who was intercepted during a stop-and-search operation.
He added, “The suspect confessed that the machines were bought for him by a bandits’ leader and he is only transacting business with people he knows (the bandits).
“When the bandits got the information about the arrest of the suspect (their agent) and seizure of the POS machines, they threatened to kill three persons they had abducted from the community earlier if the POS machines are not released to them or if in particular, the suspect is not freed.
“The people they threatened to kill are the village head of Birnin Tsaba and two party chairmen. The suspect had been operating two POS machines and we have asked banks to close the suspect’s accounts.
“We have advised the state government to temporarily suspend the operations of the POS, especially in rural communities.
“From our observation, this will affect the way the bandits are using rural POS operators to make transactions. The rural POS operators are closer to the armed criminals.”