A 53-year-old Nigerian, Abdullahi Shuaibu, has been arrested by the New York Police for allegedly robbing four Manhattan banks.
The four banks are located at United Nations headquarters on First Avenue, near E. 42nd Street, where the suspect worked
Shuaibu, who was apprehended on Monday, was said to have committed the crime within two months during his lunch hours, when he was allowed to leave his workplace.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria reports, authorities were led to the suspect after a retired police officer, who works at the UN, recognised him from a surveillance image previously released by the police,
In the first robbery, Shuaibu reportedly walked into a Santander Bank on Madison Avenue, near E. 43rd Street on February 27 and told the teller he had a gun.
The bank employee was said to have complied and handed him an unknown sum of money.
He hit two more banks in March, first striking out at a Bank of America on Third Avenue near E. 47th Street.
He also succeeded in robbing a Santander Bank on Third Avenue and E. 63rd Street on March 27.
On Monday, when he met his Waterloo, Shuaibu was said to have walked into an HSBC on Third Avenue and E. 40th Street. around 2.30pm and passed a note demanding cash to the teller.
The teller did not read the note and asked him for identification.
He, however, instructed the teller to read the note, keeping his hand in his jacket pocket while simulating a gun, police said.
Police arrested him later in the day when he returned to the UN.
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 his duty and an extended period which he requested to enable him to complete an academic programme.
A UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, denied that Shuaibu was a worker of the organisation.
Dujarric said, “Contrary to what was reported, the suspect, Abdullahi Shuaibu, is not an employee of the United Nations nor is he an accredited journalist to the United Nations nor was he arrested at the United Nations.
“Until 2010, he was a resident correspondent representing the News Agency of Nigeria.”
“He did work very briefly for the UN in October and November of 2013 but has never worked for the United Nations since.”
However, Shuaibu on his LinkedIn page, describes himself as a “communications specialist at United Nations”.
The Consul General of the Nigerian Consulate in New York, Mohammed Bello, told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria that the Consulate has yet to receive such report.
Bello said the Consulate would act accordingly when it receives the report.
Shuaibu attended Ahmadu Bello University between 1980 and 1985, where he studied International Relations.