Connect with us


Fidelity Bank Staff Clone ATM Cards, Steal N874 Million From Customers




During a court session at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, a witness shared details about how a group of defendants managed to clone more than 22 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, resulting in the theft of N874 million from a bank.

The witness, Peter Ige, who works as an Information System Auditor at Fidelity Bank, appeared as the second witness for the prosecution, presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to testify against the accused bank staff.

In his testimony before Judge Oluwatoyin Taiwo, Peter Ige described how the four individuals on trial were able to hack into the bank’s database and create copies of over 22 ATM cards. This scheme enabled them to steal a total of N874 million. The EFCC had issued a statement outlining these events on the day of the court hearing.

The defendants facing trial are Omidiji Joseph, Olusegun Babasola, Abisola Ahmed, Uchechukwu Uma, and Jude Aphaeus. They are being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of fraud related to the alleged N874 million theft from the bank within a span of three days.

EFCC said the money belongs to five corporate customers – American International Insurance Company Limited (AIICO); Interswitch; OVH Energy Marketing Ltd.; Fidelity Bank Sinking Fund Account and FSL Securities Ltd.

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. The anti-graft agency presenting Mr Ige as its second prosecution witness on Wednesday.

How alleged fraud was discovered

Mr Ige told the court how his department was asked to investigate the “massive fraud” in July 2019.

Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, the witness identified the four defendants in the dock and gave details of the findings of the internal investigation carried out by his team.

“On July 15, 2019, as a System Auditor, my team was called upon to look at an instant of ATM fraud reported to the Internal Audit and to investigate same,” he said.

He explained further that his team reviewed the systems, the affected accounts as well as those who must have carried out the activities on the accounts. “We observed that the accounts were linked to a set of ATM cards, with their daily withdrawal limits increased from N150,000 to about N150million.”

He added that the permitted frequency of withdrawal was also increased, saying, “This was very abnormal; and so, it aided the commission of the fraud.”

The witness also stated that the investigation focused on the members of staff who had authorised privilege and login details to view the accounts of customers and also increase such frequency and limits on withdrawals.

“Normally, there should be a request either from the customer or another department requesting the services.

“In this case, from our investigation conducted, there was no evidence provided by the defendants to go into these accounts.”

He told the court that after the investigation by his department, an activity log was compiled, which formed part of the internal investigation.

The case has been adjourned till Thursday for the continuation of the trial.

Source:- ThePressNG