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How hackers transferred N523.337m from bank

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By Patience Ogbo

 

 

A coordinated operations by hackers have led to the transfer of N523,337,100.00 from an old generation bank

 

It was gathered that the stolen money was transferred into eighteen  different customers’ accounts and dissipated  via Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Cash/ATM/POS/Withdrawals and e-

transfers.

 

Following the incident, two suspects have since been arrested by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit Ikoyi Lagos. .

A press statement by SP Eyitayo Johnson, the spokesperson for the Special Fraud Unit  read

“The Legal Section of the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), Ikoyi-Lagos headed by CSP. E. A. Jackson, Esq; has successfully obtained an order of the Federal High Court siting in Lagos for the preservation/forfeiture/attachment of a net sum of Five Hundred and Twenty-Three Million, Three Hundred and

Thirty-Seven Thousand and One Hundred Naira N523,337,100.00 fraudulently transferred by internet fraudsters who hacked a customer’s account domiciled in one of the Old-Generation banks and posted the funds into eighteen (18) different accounts in the same Bank before transmitting same to Two Hundred and Twenty-Five (225)

other accounts in Twenty-Two (22) Banks/Financial Institutions”.

According to the Police, the coordinated cyber-attack was carried out on April 22 through Sunday 24th  to the early hours of April 25th. In the course of the investigation, the sum of One Hundred

and Sixty Million, Two Hundred and Eight-Seven Thousand,

Seventy-One Naira and Forty-Seven Kobo (N160,287,071.47) has been recovered from different Banks with two suspects

arrested, while operatives are following other leads in order to apprehend the remaining members of the syndicate.

In the same vein, the Legal Section of the Unit has charged one Sikiru Olawale

Olayinka along with his company, Excampo Nigeria Limited to the Federal High Court, Ikoyi-Lagos; for offences bordering on fraudulent conversion and stealing of One Hundred and

Twenty-Three Thousand Dollars ($123,000.00 USD) being money wrongly transferred into his company’s domiciliary account on 5th September, 2018.”On receipt of the funds into his account, Sikiru Olayinka

Olawale, within hours; quickly visited the Bank and transferred One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars ($120,000.00

USD) in two tranches into accounts of his cronies.The Bank made concerted efforts to recover the funds in order

to channel same to the rightful account but Sikiru Olayinka refused and frustrated these efforts and continued to dissipate the money contrary to the provisions of Banks and Other Financial

Institutions Act, 1991 and the Failed Banks Act, 1994.

 

In a related development, the Unit arraigned one James Abidemi and his company; Diamondsmith De-Great

Universal Petroleum Corporation and others at large before the Federal High court sitting in Lagos for the offence of

conspiracy and obtaining the sum of Three Hundred and Ninety-Six Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand, Eighty Naira (N396,999,080.00) by false pretence, fraudulent conversion and stealing.

The complainant is a Consulting Firm with prime focus in assisting clients to source and render payment services in

Foreign Exchange for goods and services around the world.

In furtherance to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Consulting firm and the suspect, the suspect’s

company, Diamondsmith De-Great Universal Petroleum allegedly received the aforesaid sum in tranches, between the 23rd to 8th May, 2022.The money was meant for the purchase of Six Hundred and

Eighty-Eight Thousand United States Dollars ($688,000.00

USD) at an exchange rate of Five Hundred and Seventy-Seven

Naira (N577) per US Dollar and was supposed to remit same

as Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars ($250,000.00

USD), Three Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand US Dollars

($325,000.00 USD), One Hundred Thousand US Dollars

($100,000.00 USD) and Thirteen Thousand Dollars ($13,000.00

USD) to specified beneficiaries in Mainland China and Hong  .The suspect provided fake telexes as proof of remittance to

foreign business partners of the complainant while the money

was actually diverted to another member of the syndicate, a

banker based in Ghana who dispersed the funds to several

other accomplices.

Consequently, the Unit has solicited the cooperation of

INTERPOL to apprehend the remaining members of the

syndicate that are outside Nigeria.

The Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, CP. Anyasinti

Josephine Nneka has advised Banks and Financial Institutions

on the need to increase their Cyber-Security Surveillance,

conduct routine background checks on staff who have login

privileges that could be compromised to make Banks porous

to cyber-attacks. She equally enjoins the Public on the need

to investigate sources of unexpected inflows into their

accounts. Where such funds are found to have been wrongly

credited, the recipient should cooperate with their Banks and

make conscious efforts to reverse/re-route same. Utilizing

such funds is a criminal offence.

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