SAN FRANCISCO, April 18, (THEWILL) – A Nigerian, Abdullahi Shuaibu, has been arrested by the New York Police Department (NYPD) for allegedly robbing four Manhattan banks during his lunch hour.
According to New York Post, Shuaibu 53, a journalist and former staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was picked up by police on Monday and charged with robbery and attempted robbery for the crimes committed during his two-month spree.
Shuaibu was an employee of the News Agency of Nigeria and served as its UN correspondent between 2006 and 2009.
The agency, however, terminated his appointment in April 2013 following his refusal to resume work in Nigeria at the expiration of duty tour and extended period which he requested to enable him complete an academic programme.
All the four banks he allegedly robbed are within walking distance of his office at the foreign press center inside the US Mission to the United Nations, which is across the street from the UN building.
He was arrested after a retired police officer who works as a guard at the US permanent mission to the UN recognised Shuaibu from a surveillance image previously released by the NYPD.
In the first incident, Shuaibu walked into a Santander Bank on Madison Ave. near E. 43rd St. on February 27 and told the teller he had a gun. The bank employee complied and handed Shuaibu an unknown sum of money.
He allegedly operated in two more banks in March, first striking out at a Bank of America on Third Avenue near E. 47th St. on the 13th.
He was said to have been successful in robbing a Santander Bank on Third Ave. and E. 63rd St. on the 27th.
During the most recent incident on Monday, Shuaibu reportedly walked into an HSBC on Third Ave. and E. 40th St. around 2:30pm and passed a note demanding cash to the teller.
The teller did not read the note and asked Shuaibu for identification.
He then instructed the employee to read the note, keeping his hand in his jacket pocket while simulating a gun, police said.
A UN spokesman said Shuaibu worked briefly for the United Nations for a couple of months in the fall of 2013, but has not had access to the facility since leaving in November of that year.
“[He] is not an employee of the United Nations nor is he an accredited journalist to the United Nations,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Shuaibu attended Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) between 1980 and 1985, where he studied International Relations.