How Bureau De-change operator short -changed maid who stole $10,000 from boss
She bent her head in shame, on sighting her father approaching her direction at the Lagos State Police Command where she was apprehended alongside three others over a case of theft.
Twenty-three-year-old Blessing Paul, a maid to a senior manager of a multinational company which engages in the manufacturing and distribution of household goods, became a guest at the command, for allegedly breaking her boss’s drawer where she stole $10,000.
It was gathered that the Benue-State born lady started living with her boss since 2014 but the situation went amiss, following reports of missing money by her madam’s husband. Preliminary investigation showed that between October 2016 and April 2017, cash, both in local and foreign currencies were reported missing in the house, located in Gbagada area of Lagos.
For instance, it was reported that on three different occasions, N500,000, N150,000 and N20,000 were missing.
The money, it was gathered, was either stolen from the drawer, coat pockets or briefcase belonging to the couple (names withheld).
At first, no one suspected Blessing as she never displayed any tendency to betray their trust and confidence on her. Rather, the driver to her boss was always suspected to be the culprit.
But the bubble burst last week after her boss opened one of the drawers in her bedroom only to discover that the foreign currency which was kept there had disappeared! Shocked and infuriated, she inquired from Blessing who denied having anything to do with the missing $10,000.
Not convinced, the case was reported to Policemen at Anthony village who consequently whisked the maid away for questioning.
To the astonishment of all, she admitted to have stolen the money.
The case, was then transferred to the Commissioner of Police X-Squad, where upon further interrogation, the maid revealed that she had changed the money into naira, out of which she had N500,000 left.
Her confessional statement led to the arrest of the trio of Amos Shuaibu, a private guard to Blessing’s boss; Daniel Bitrus, a private guard in Gbagada and Habeeb Usman, a Bureau-De-change operator.
Looking remorseful, Blessing said: “I had no reason to steal my madam’s money because she has been very good to me since I started working for her three years ago. She paid me N20,000 monthly. I really don’t know what made me to steal her money. I guess I was under a spell.
“On that day, I had gone to clean her bedroom. I opened the drawer which was not always locked and found the money. I did not know its worth but I knew they were not naira. I took it to Amos, the gate man to change for me. He said he had a friend who would help us change it. Amos took the Dollars to Daniel, who said he knew a bureau-de change operator at Gbagada. I did not follow them to where they changed it. But when they brought the money to me, it was so much. I collected N500,000 and the rest was shared between Daniel and Amos. I kept mine in the bank hoping to use it to establish myself by the time I would leave my madam’s place”. On his part, Daniel (20) who took the foreign currency to the Bureau-de-change operator, Habee (39), stated that he had no idea what the exchange rate was.
He said: “I did not know that the money was stolen. I was only asked to help contact a bureau-de-change operator which I did. At the end, we were handed N860,000. The operator said that the exchange rate was N86.00 per dollar. I was only given N140,000”. When approached, the bureau-de-change operator refused to talk, claiming he could not express himself in English. But he admitted when asked in English language to have changed a dollar for N86,000. The suspects, according to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, would be charged to court soon.