UN worker-turned-journalist found a way to make his lunch breaks pay off — by politely robbing banks around the world body’s headquarters, cops said Tuesday.
Abdullahi Shuaibu, 53, of Queens, allegedly plundered about $10,000 in cash during an Upper East Side crime spree that began Feb. 27 and continued over three more Mondays. In each of two successful heists, he showed the teller a note that said, “Give me $5,000, Thank you,” police sources said.
Shuaibu also allegedly left two banks empty-handed before getting busted on Monday, following a failed robbery at the HSBC branch at Third Avenue and East 63rd Street.
Bank teller Rani Ahme, 50, said a “regular guy” in a blazer slid her a note but “did not let go of it.”
“I asked, ‘How can I help you?’ and he said, ‘Check it, check it,’ looking at the note, but he did not let go of the note,” she said.
The would-be crook disappeared while Ahme ducked into the rear of the bank to alert her boss, she said.
Shuaibu was nabbed outside the US Mission to the United Nations, where he’s been working out of the building’s Foreign Press Center as a State Department-credentialed reporter for the PanAfrican News Agency, police sources said.
A retired cop who works as a guard at the mission, across the street from the UN building, tipped off cops after recognizing Shuaibu in surveillance photos of the alleged bank robbery that the NYPD circulated last month.
“It wasn’t hard,” the guard told The Post. “He comes in and out of here every day.”
Shuaibu confessed following his arrest, admitting he spent all the stolen money paying bills, sources said.
He was charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery and was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Shuaibu is a Nigerian national with a valid work visa but no diplomatic immunity, sources said.
A UN spokesman said that Shuaibu worked for the organization during October and November 2013 but no longer had credentials to enter the building.
Shuaibu’s wife formerly worked for the Nigerian Mission to the UN and split from her hubby, said Kassimu Mohammed, the mission’s protocol officer.
NYPD detectives got no answer when they knocked on the door of his home in Hollis.
Landlord Inosthene Delimon said Shuaibu and his wife began renting a $2,000-a month, three-bedroom town-house apartment from him about eight years ago.
Delimon described the family as “good people who always paid their rent on time.”
“I never had any problems with them,” Delimon added.
NEW YORK POST