Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) is being investigated by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) over alleged fraudulent transactions of $667,000 involving GTBank. It was gathered that 35 GTBank accounts were used to commit the fraud by former GTBank staff.
GTBank and two others, Albert Austine Ugochukwu and a limited liability company, Tasmara Integrated Services Limited, were dragged to the Federal Court in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/586/2020 and presided over by Justice Ayokunle Faji. The case involves money laundering and Advance Fee Fraud.
The GTBank Accounts Involved In The Fraud
205/153068; 228/678179; 402/649701; 220/876518; 224/980764; 220/877573; 220/877598; 220/885941: 209/822101; 209/823832; 246/296004; 246/297322; 265/231545: 265/231511; 265/229254; 246/340436; 265/231542; 265/231625; 220/885852, 209/839097; 214/8682312; 220/886856; 220/886871; 220/886875; 246/340330; 246/344649; 251/292171; 251/292201; 265/231490; 220/886879; 220/886839; 220/886802; 251/292261; 265/231474 and 220/886811.
The Fund Is Proceed Of Fraud Involving GTBank Former Staff
Investigation into the fund began after GTBank Headquarters’ General Manager, Segun Fadahunsi and Senior Manager, Lanre Kasim, petitioned the police to disclose that former staff of the bank, Albert Austin Ugochukwu, fraudulently acquired $667,000 with the 35 GTBank accounts.
Ugochukwu had opened the accounts through a company name, Tasmara Integrated Services Limited – which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on November 27, 2019 – and used it to launder money. The petition was dated March 26, 2020, four mouths after the company was registered with CAC. According to the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police, during investigation, it realised the said fund was a proceed of fraud.
Police Seek Restriction On The Fradulent GTBank Accounts
In order to prevent the fund from being transfered, the Police seeked the courts to restain GTBank from debiting or allowing withdrawals from the 35 accounts. The Police want the restriction placed on the accounts as investigation is still ongoing. The police plans to interrogate the account officers of the 35 accounts and have requested the court to order them to present themselves for interrogation, and to also provide accounts document starting from January 1, 2018 till date.
Other requested documents include names and addresses of signatories to the accounts; photocopies on the mandate cards; Bank Verification Number linked to the accounts and certificate of computer printout in compliance with Section 84 of the Evidence Act. The police said the documents are crucial to unravel the fraudlent activities involving the 35 accounts.
The court order would prevent GTBank – which is headed by Segun Agbaje – from lifting the restriction and allow perpetrators to withdraw the fund amidst investigation, as it could affect the investigation process.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has been involved in series of fraudulent transfers from customers’ accounts. Customers accounts are being debited illegally, with the money transfered to bet companies. There are assertions that GTBank is reportedly using customers money for betting without authorisation, as customers money are being debited for betting only in recent times.
Series Of Fraudulent Debits In Customers’ GTBank Accounts
One of the affected customer, Funke Adeoye said GTBank transferred NGN200,000 from her account balance to an account belonging to Bet9ja, but gave her flimsy reasons for the deduction, and another GTBank customer, Abimbola Omolade, said NGN45,900 was transfered from his GTBank account to a Sporty bet account.
While Hannah Obeahon, an Agricultural economist, said her sister’s GTBank’s account was illegally debited, with about NGN500,000 transferred to Sporty bet account. According to Obeahon, the amount was deducted by batches, NGN10,000, to NGN50,000 until about NGN500,000 was illegally transferred to the Sporty account.
She stated that her sister woke to the debit, “My sister woke up to debit alerts from gtbank amounting to 500k and she didn’t authorized any of the transactions, all the monies were sent to a sporty account…” She added, “How is this possible!!! It appears our money isn’t even safe in any bank account.” Obeahon said.
Meanwhile, for Adeoye, before the fraudulent transfer was done on her GTBank account, she had NGN700,000 in her account. She disclosed that she frequently uses Abule Tailor GTBank branch, in Abule Egba Area of Lagos State, and no one has access to her account PIN or Bank Verification Number (BVN) prior to the illegal transaction.
Adeoye explained that on Saturday, August 15, 2020, she received a debit alert on her GTBank account by 12:30 am, with NGN100,000 deducted twice from the account, and transferred to KC GAMING NETWORKS LTD, a bet9ja account located at 9 Funsho Williams Avenue Ojuelegba Lagos, Nigeria. Note that there was a UEFA Champions League match on this day between Manchester City and Lyon.
On the same day, Adeoye’s GTBank account was debited to purchase NGN5,000 voice airtime six times without her authorisation – totalling the illegal deductions to NGN230,000. On her visit to the bank on Monday to complain about the use of her money to play Bet9ja and purchase airtime, she was told to come back 48hours after, since then, Adeoye’s effort to get her money and explanation for the illegal usage of her account for betting have yielded no result.
GTBank Give Customers Flimsy Excuse For Illegal Deduction
The customers who had a combined NGN770,000 deducted from their GTBank accounts were blamed for the illegal transfer. GTBank placed the fraudulent transfer on the customer, stating that they were careless of their PIN and BVN numbers. GTBank failed to take the blame for the loss of money in customers’ accounts despite the customers insisting that their PIN and BVN wasn’t disclosed to anyone.
According to Omolade, he said, “I was also a victim of this same thing also some weeks back, gtbank has only told me I’m careless with my ATM even when am sure I kept it well. A total of 45,900.” Also, Obeahon said GTBank didn’t give them any valid answer to how the money was transferred during the enquiry.
Adeoye said, “I was advised to inform the police about what happened to my money and I went to Ikeja police command to lodge a complaint, hoping to receive a positive response from the bank but nothing has been done till now. I’m strongly of the opinion that they intentionally defrauded me and use my money to play bet9ja over the weekend.”
“As a reputable organization, they can’t swing into action immediately to get who defrauded their customer? You forwarded my money to KC Gaming Network Ltd and you can’t do anything about it, even the numbers that were used to purchase five thousand naira recharge card are showing on your system.
“Even inside the bank a customer who has had such similar experience advised me to take legal action because if I don’t, GTBank will not look into the matter and they will not refund the money, he told me the bank is now becoming fraudulent nowadays,” Adeoye said.
GTBank, Others’ Failure To Take Blame For Bank Fraud
Note that that number of frauds done on GTBank accounts in 2019 surpassed the 10,673 recorded in 2018. Last year, 15,461 fraud cases were experienced by GTBank. In 2018, the amount involved was over NGN821.4 million, in 2019, the amount involved skyrocketed to NGN1.5 billion.
In Nigeria, most banks blame customers when an illegal transaction or transfer is made with their accounts. Nigerian banks want customers to believe banks’ internal security is tight, so when any illegal activity is carried out on a customer’s account, it’s due to the customer’s carelessness.
But in a recent report by AllNews, it was disclosed that a hacker obtained about 2000 bank information belonging to Access Bank customers. The hacker posted a video stating that he hacked Access Bank’s system because Access Bank has a weak security system. The hacker was able to obtain about 2000 bank details consisting of BVN, Account number and Phone number. He said with the details with him, he could debit accounts of Access Bank customers.
Although Access Bank denied the claim of the hacker, fraudsters have been contacting the bank’s customers prior to the video, in a bid to defraud the customers. Tech entrepreneur, Victor Asemota, had also criticised Access Bank, stating that hackers are now using Access Bànk to hack other banks.
FCMB had also debited its customers’ accounts and transferred NGN573 million to the church account belonging to Pastor Emmanuel Omale – Pastor of former anti-graft, EFCC, acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu – in 2016, only to claim the transfer was a mistake four years after a Presidential criminal panel traced the money. Part of the money transferred to Omale’s church account was allegedly used by the clergyman to buy properties for Magu.
Note that email enquiry sent to GTBank wasn’t responded to as at the time of filing this report.
Source |All News