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Bank’s agent loses N160,000 to alleged fraudster 

An agent of one of the top five commercial banks in Nigeria has alerted her colleagues on new tricks some individuals use to dupe banks’ agents. 

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Access Bank tells customers to pay N50Stamp Duty

An agent of one of the top five commercial banks in Nigeria, simply known as Bimbo, has alerted her colleagues and the public on new tricks some individuals allegedly use to dupe banks’ agents.

Bimbo explained that she was duped of N120,000. She said an unknown customer had used her PoS outlet to withdraw N160,000, only for her account to be flagged by her bank days after for illegal transaction.

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Bimbo disclosed her ordeal on the social media platform, Twitter, through her handle, @bimbo_cash. The customer approached her mobile banking outlet at Egbeda, Lagos, to withdraw N160,000, but due to delay in the transfer by the customer’s bank, he could only get N120,000.

PoS agents, operators kick against N50 charge, seek policy reversal,

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She explained that the guy transferred N100,000 to her outlet’s bank account, then transferred N20,000 in three phases from Sterling Bank account to complete the N160,000 he planned to withdraw from the mobile banking outlet. However, no alert was received from the last two N20,000 from Sterling Bank, so the customer was given N120,000, with a promise that he could come back for the balance once the alert had been received.

Dealing with an unperturbed fraudster

According to Bimbo, the customer had no problem with the suggestion. He willingly took the N120,000 and left without arguing about his balance. Bimbo didn’t know the customer was unbothered about the balance because he had stolen the bank and card details of someone.

[READ MORE: Fraud Cases hit major payment channels across Nigerian Banks]

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Bimbo said forty minutes after the customer had left, her outlet received the alert of the last two N20,000. The outlet called the unnamed customer several times but all attempts to reach him in order to offer him his balance were futile as his line was switched off.

Unknowingly to Bimbo, the customer had defrauded someone by using ber outlet. According to her, she informed the police about the balance, as she didn’t want to owe the customer. However, to Bimbo’s dismay, her account was flagged and restricted by her bank due to unauthorised transfer her outlet received.

Transfer led to account restriction

The transfer and withdrawal occurred on October 19, 2019, while Bimbo discovered her account had been restricted and flagged on October 21, 2019. According to her Tweet, her bank informed her that the owner of the account that was duped didn’t authorise it.

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Bimbo narrated that she was “advised to write a letter to the bank to deduct 160K from my account while crediting the person so the ban can be lifted.” She had to bear the loss by taking responsibility of the N160,000.

How the customer stole the card details

It was learnt that the details of the debit card were stolen when the account holder visited a roadside MTN outlet to upgrade her sim, as the customer (the fraudster) was one of the people at the MTN promo-stand by the roadside.

The account holder identified the customer when his picture was shown to her. Note that Bimbo’s mobile banking outlet usually takes pictures of customers who withdraw cash above N50,000.

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Police and MTN are not helpful

After Bimbo reported the fraud to the police, she was informed that nothing could be done without the name or details of the customer. According to the police, his picture was not sufficient enough to be used as evidence.

Also, the guy can’t be tracked by MTN even if Bimbo requests for it. Only the lady, whose card details were stolen during the upgrade of her sim, can make such request.

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What this means

This is one of the hazards of operating a mobile banking outlet. Better identification is needed if such a situation is to be prevented. As Nigerian banks begin to expand their services to underserved communities through agency or mobile banking, there’s need for the process of withdrawal at Point of Sale (POS) to be reviewed.

Also, the theft of debit card details during sim upgrade shows there’s a loophole in the system of telecommunication companies during sim registration or upgrade because the fraud Bimbo experienced started from the sim card outlet. At most roadside sim-stands, customers are often surrounded by individuals who are not contracted by the telcos. Unsuspecting users can fall victims in the process.

[READ ALSO: Banks refund N3.09 billion to customers over fraud, excess charges, others]

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Grey area

Bimbo’s bank made her bear the cost of the fraud she was not involved in. One cannot but wonder why the bank allowed such to happen when she only carried out her business activity.

If the customer that withdrew at Bimbo’s outlet had gone to use the bank details to purchase goods elsewhere – either boutique or retail store, would any of these businesses be told to refund the account of the victim?

Also, if the fraudster had used the bank’s ATM to make the withdrawal, who would the bank place the blame on? Obviously, he chose the mobile banking agency in order to avoid the bank’s camera, not knowing his picture would be taken by the mobile banking outlet.

If anyone should take the fall in this fraudulent act, it shouldn’t be Bimbo; the ball should be in the court of her bank and MTN.

Patricia

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 11th of July 2020, 664 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continue to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 31,987 confirmed cases.

On the 11th of July 2020, 664 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,609 samples across the country.

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To date, 31987 cases have been confirmed, 13,103 cases have been discharged and 724 deaths have been recorded in 36, states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 178,265 tests have been carried out as of July 11th, 2020 compared to 175,656 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 11th July 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 31,987
  • Total Number Discharged – 13,103
  • Total Deaths – 724
  • Total Tests Carried out – 178,265

According to the NCDC, the 664 new cases are reported from 18 states- Lagos (224), FCT (105), Edo (85), Ondo (64), Kaduna (32), Imo (27), Osun (19), Plateau (17), Oyo (17), Ogun (17), Rivers (14), Delta (11), Adamawa (10), Enugu (7), Nassarawa (6), Gombe (3), Abia (3), Ekiti (3).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 12,275, followed by Abuja (2,538), Oyo (1,706), Edo (1,678), Delta (1,359), Rivers (1,357), Kano (1,303), Ogun (1,080),  Kaduna (978), Ondo (670), Katsina (655), Borno (586), Gombe (530), Bauchi (519), Plateau (516), Ebonyi (508), Enugu (476), Abia (405),  Imo (386), Jigawa (321).

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Kwara state has recorded 311 cases, Bayelsa (299), Nasarawa (244), Osun (231), Sokoto (153), Niger (135), Akwa Ibom (134), Benue (121), Adamawa (110), Anambra (93), Kebbi (86), Zamfara (76), Yobe (62), Ekiti (49), Taraba (27), while Kogi and Cross River state have recorded 5 cases each.

 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
July 11, 2020319876647241513103181607
July 10, 2020313235757092012795178197
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Economy & Politics

Buhari sheds light on why Magu was suspended

Shehu’s statement sheds more light on Magu’s suspension.

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Buhari says large proportions of new COVID-19 infections now occur in communities

Following the suspension of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), the Presidency has revealed the grounds for his suspension through the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu in a statement on Saturday evening.

He revealed that a preliminary review was conducted on allegations leveled against Magu and other EFFC staff that justified reasons for an investigation on his activities, and a panel was constituted “in compliance with the extant laws governing the convening of such a body,” adding that in cases of allegations against the head of the EFCC, it was proper procedure for the Chair to step down to enable a fair investigation.

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“As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent & unhindered investigation” he said.

The EFCC does not revolve around the personality of an individual, and as such cannot be seen through the prism of any individual.

“Therefore, the suspension of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, allows the institution to continue carrying out its mandate without the cloud of investigation hanging over its head.”

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He added that the EFCC is committed to fighting economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, and Magu would have the opportunity to defend himself against allegations leveled against him as stipulated by the Nigerian constitution where “every citizen is presumed and remains innocent until proven guilty.”

He said the war against corruption was not a static event, but a continuous process that required transparency and accountability, where people must be held to account for their activities so as to improve Nigeria’s democratic institutions.

“Those who see Mr. Magu’s investigation, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have unfortunately, missed the boat.

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“There is no better indication that the fight is real and active than the will to investigate allegations in an open and transparent manner against those who have been charged to be custodians of this very system,” he said.

“Under this President and Government, this is our mantra and guiding principle. There are no sacred cows, and for those who think they have a halo over their heads, their days are also numbered,” Shehu said.

He also said Magu was not immune to investigations regardless of the “obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him” may have caused the Nigerian Government, however, the government maintains its fight against corruption.

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Ibrahim Magu was suspended as EFCC Acting Chairman this week after facing a preliminary panel at the Aso Villa and was replaced by Mohammed Umar.

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Economy & Politics

Magu probe: New facts suggest case is about re-looting of previously stolen funds

The report exposed acts of corruption and money laundering against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

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Ibrahim Magu, Buhari appoints new Ag. Chairman of EFCC, gives reason for Magu's suspension

There appear to be more troubles for the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, as some new cases bordering on alleged re-looting of recovered funds and bribery may be lined up against him.

Some new facts also emerged on how accumulated interest rates on the recovered N550 billion by the EFCC in the period under review were allegedly re-looted. The suspended EFCC boss is expected to disclose the whereabouts of the missing interest funds running into millions of naira.

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READ MORE: Safest, regulated Cryptocurrency, Arcoin backed by U.S. Treasury securities

The final report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) that covered the period of May 29, 2015, to November 22, 2018, had also confirmed the concerns of the public about the contradiction in the recovered funds by Magu. These contradictions include;

For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgments was N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.’’

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“These inconsistencies cast serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC. It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.’’

“While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.’

READ ALSO: Gold down over increased investor confidence in economic recovery

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It should be noted that the about N39 billion discrepancy excludes the missing accrued interest.

With all these, the report suggests that there is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and has greatly eroded public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts.

The PCARA revealed how the investigative reports on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) exposed acts of corruption and money laundering against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

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The NFIU report shows that the Acting Chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases collecting bribes from suspects.

The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of money.

The PCARA report also said that Magu was linked to a N28m payment to Falana who is alleged to be his close associate and ally.

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READ ALSO: Air Peace’s Onyema saga: EFCC seizes passport, as Northern Youths plan rally at US embassy

Background

According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the former EFCC boss is being interrogated by the Rtd, Justice Ayo Salami led Presidential Probe Panel over allegations bordering on mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by EFCC.

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A final report of the Presidential Investigation Committee on the Federal Government Recovered Assets and Finances by EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020 had seriously indicted and implicated Magu on various allegations levelled against him.

The terms of reference for the investigative committee were

’Investigate, verify and review the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets as it relates to the EFCC, with a view to ascertaining the complicity or otherwise of the Ag. Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in the mismanagement of the assets recovered by the Commission.’’

‘’Identify Avenues through which the recovered assets are dissipated and seized, recovered, forfeited (Interim and Final) assets are valued, managed, disposed and/or mismanaged with a view to ascertaining compliance or otherwise with extant laws, regulations, processes and procedures.’’

‘’Review the existing procedures on the Management of the seized, recovered and Forfeited assets (interim and final) and proffer Standard Operational Procedures for the management of seized, recovered and forfeited assets.’’

‘’Determine whether assets recovered during his tenure, whether locally in Nigeria or abroad, are being kept safely in a manner as to preserve their original value and determine: –

  • Whether all the assets could be properly accounted for by the Ag. Chairman.
  • To confirm if any of the assets have been diverted to the benefit of the Ag. Chairman, his family, relation, friends or favoured staff.
  • To recover any such diverted assets and return back to the EFCC or appropriate government agency.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s external reserves up by 7% in 21 days, currency speculators to lose over N10 billion 

The committee was also to probe and report on corruption and money laundering allegations based on petitions and intelligence reports, involving Magu and Bureau De Change operators as well as some of his associates.

It was to audit the Assets and Finances of the EFCC as a legal entity from 2015-2020, with a view to establishing compliance or otherwise with procurement procedures of the EFCC in line with the provisions of the Procurement Act.

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