United Nations beat reporter arrested in Manhattan bank robberies, police say

Abdullahi Shuaibu robbed or attempted to rob at least four banks in midtown, police said.

A journalist, affiliated with the United Nations, was arrested Monday in connection with multiple bank robberies in Manhattan, police said.

Abdullahi Shuaibu, 53, is accused of robbing or attempting to rob at least four banks in midtown since Feb. 27, 2017, police said. All of the incidents occured during the early afternoon, they added.

Shuaibu, of Queens, works as a freelancer for the Panapress News Agency with a beat on the UN, a law enforcement source said. Under Shuaibu’s Linkedin profile, he’s described as a “communications specialist” for the UN.

According to police, between Feb. 27 and April 17, Shuaibu robbed two Midtown banks and attempted to knock over two others before he was caught. The robberies occurred between 2 and 3:30 p.m., and each time he would pass a note to the teller demanding money, authorities said.

In at least one of the cases, the note stated that he had a gun, but no firearm was displayed, police said.

The tellers complied in two of the incidents, but it is unclear how much money Shuaibu stole in total, police said. If the tellers did not comply, Shuaibu would grab the note and flee.

The banks he hit included two Santander banks, a Bank of America and an HSBC bank, police said.

He was charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.

Shuaibu was elected to the board of the Dag Hammarskjold Scholarship Fund for Journalists as the UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), according to a 2007 Panapress article.

It’s not clear whether he’s still part of the board. The scholarship fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nicole Brown