Baffles U.S. Investigators
By Tokunbo Adedoja, 16 May 2012
United States is currently looking into how a Nigerian, Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole, who had been using a stolen identity to work at Newark Liberty International Aiport, scaled through several security and background checks carried out in the last 20 years.
Oyewole, 54, who is believed to be an illegal immigrant, had been using the Social Security card and birth record of one Jerry Thomas, who was murdered in Queens, New York in 1992, about the same time Oyewole resumed work at the airport – which is one of the busiest, not only in the US, but in the world.
Until his arrest at his residence in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Monday, he was a supervisor with FJC Security Services, a private security company at the airport, where he was in charge of about 30 guards.
What US intellegence community is currently looking at is how he successfully scaled through several background checks carried out by his employer, the New Jersey Police, and the US Customs and Border Protection, over the years undetected.
FJC Security Services Spokesman, Michael McKeon said, “In all cases, he passed the background checks,” adding, “during his time with FJC, he had nothing in his record or his performance to indicate a cause for concern or a reason to question the state police and federal government’s background checks.”
Oyewole’s arrest is also raising questions on the effectiveness of some of the post 9/11 security measures put in place, particularly with regards to airport security personnel screening. Coincidentally, Newark Liberty International Airport was one of the airports from where the 9/11 highjackers took-off.
Though, no other motive, apart from identity theft had been established in his arrest, investigators may however be looking into whether there is a nexus between the murder of Thomas and his stolen identity, which Oyewole assumed shortly after the victim’s death.
A statement issued by the Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Tuesday said a hearing on airport security breaches would hold on Wednesday (today).
Though the statement did not make reference to the arrest of Oyewole, it however said the hearing would be on, “Access Control Point Breaches at Our Nations’s Airports: Anomalies or Systemic Failures?”
At his appearance in court in Essex County on Tuesday, Oyewole, who arrived in US in 1989, pleaded not gulity to a 1-count charge of identity theft and he is being held on $250,000 bail.
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