Stanbic Bank has clarified that there was no intrusion into its bank system following fraudulent withdrawal of $1.8 million from a customer’s account.
In a statement released on Monday, the bank acknowledged arrest of ten people , with the help of the Uganda Police, suspected of fraudulently withdrawing money off a bank customer’s account using forged documentation. The bank however denies media reports that the fraud was due to the bank system being hacked in.
“The suspects have since been produced before the anti-corruption court and charged with ‘causing financial loss and money laundering.’ Stanbic Bank also clarifies that there was no ‘intrusion into the bank’s systems’ as alleged by some media reports,” the statement reads in part.
“Cases of fraud are on the rise in the financial services sector. Stanbic Bank appeals to customers and Ugandans in general to remain vigilant and safeguard personal and business banking details to avoid becoming victims of fraud.” The bank said it won’t comment “further” “on this matter as the case is before court.”
The Special Investigations Division in coordination with the Fraud Department at Stanbic Bank, Uganda, has arrested and detained nine suspects in connection with irregular withdrawal of $1.8m from Stanbic Bank Uganda.
According to Police spokesperson Fred Enanga, the nine are scheduled to appear before the Anti-Corruption Division in Kololo, in connection with “a series of computer system intrusions which gave them unauthorised access to a client’s account, where they made unauthorised transfers of funds, worth USD1.8M, into other bank accounts, established solely for the purpose of receiving the stolen funds,” Enanga said in a statement released Monday evening.
Enanga said that at the direction of the Branch Managers, the funds were withdrawn and stolen, using forged documents of a Kenyan Passport number AK 0849025 and forged inter Account Transfer Forms, all in the names of Mohamed Abdul Hakim Hussein, one of the Company Directors and a signatory of the Account, of Nile Energy.
The suspects in conspiracy with selected Stanbic Bank staff both at Garden City and Freedom City branches compromised the account of Nile Energy and effected transactions in Inter Account Transfers (IAT) and made withdraws using 3 accounts that included; Account Number 9030012835107 in the names of Dixon Kagurusi Ampumuza; Account Number 9030021572615 in the names of Petrom Limited and Account Number 9030018628871 in the names of Famane Investments Co. Ltd.
Enanga said in the statement that at least 7cash withdrawals of USD 495,000, USD 287,000 USD 295,000, USD 90,000, USD 60.000, USD 295,000 and USD 495,000 were made by the suspects, purporting to be Mohamed Abdul Hakim Hussein, the Director of Nile Energy, while using forged documents.
So far 12 suspects have been arrested, out of whom 9 are to be charged to court on the 13.02.2023, on charges of causing financial loss and money laundering. These include; Tefera Okubalassie Robert, who was intercepted with a forged passport and funds transfer form in the bank, Ayusiga Moses, the branch Manager of Stanbic Bank, Garden City Branch, who allegedly effected the two transfers of USD 287,000 and 295,000 from Nile Energy Account to Petrom Ltd in a fraudulent and illegal manner, Natukunda Brian, a former employee of Stanbic Bank, who introduced Kagurusi Dixon Ampumuza (on the run) to Moses Ayusiga, the 3 Directors of Famane Investments Co. Ltd, namely; Oman Ghebreyesus, Fiona Dede Bwende, Elijah Daniel Wanzu, in who company account number, money was received and Ssekito David, the Manager at Freedom City Branch. Other charges of forgery and utterance of forged documents are being processed.
“These arrests send a clear and unmistakable message to those who conspire to exploit the banking systems to steal client’s deposits and services, not to use their positions and user rights, to steal from hard working citizens and investors. We want to thank the Management of Stanbic Bank (U), for boldly coming out to fight this kind of bank fraud. Most bank frauds and conspiracies involves bankers and other conspirators, who identify bank customers with high cash balances and steal it, after compromising the accounts thus putting the bank at a huge loss,” Enanga noted.
He urged banks and customers to have protective measures and a culture in place to identify potential misuse of computer information and alert the Economic Crimes and Anti-Corruption Division at CID Headquarters. We also realised that fighting bank fraud requires both the adoption of good practice, and genuine partnerships between the Bank and its clients.
‘Better prevention, detection and recovery of fraud, will help reduce client phobia on their bank deposits and savings,” Said Enanga.