CBN Fraudsters Arrested, the story of how the apex bank was scammed

Godwin-Emefiele-696x505The no nonsense governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefile recorded a big one last week when he summarily suspended top managers of the bank over their lack of due diligence. However fresh facts have emerged on how the fraudsters involved in the $414,200 scam at the bank were arrested by security operatives.
The CBN Governor recently suspended the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Dr. Okwu J. Nnanna, and four deputy directors over the incident.
It was gathered from a reliable source in the central bank monday that although the fraudsters succeeded in getting $191,000 through a Dubai-based bank, while the balance of $241,200 was stopped when the CBN became aware of the fraud, the criminals went ahead to push another scam e-mail to commercial banks requesting a total of N500 million, Thisday reports.
The source explained that in the fresh request by the criminals, they used the CBN governor’s cloned email address and demanded that the payments should be done through Unity Bank Plc (N150 million); Keystone Bank Limited (N150 million) and First Bank of Nigeria Limited (N200 million).
“What the fraudsters did was to use a cloned e-mail from Emefiele requesting the amount. But the CBN governor was in China and Nnanna could not reach him.
“But ideally, it is the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services that deals with such payments. When he (Nnanna) could not reach Emefiele, he ought to have gone to his colleagues (other deputy governors) for verification of the sum.
“Also, the directors in that department were also not around at the time this thing took place. So Nnanna used the deputy directors to authorise the transfers, because he allegedly didn’t have any reason to doubt the e-mail,” the source added.
But when the scam came to light, he said Nnanna set up a ruse in order to catch the fraudsters.
“The CBN lured the fraudsters who in turn requested that the payments should be done in the aforementioned three Nigerian banks.
“It then got the three banks to play along by sending fake credit alerts, notifying them their accounts had been credited.
“So it was when two of them went to one of the banks to withdraw the cash that they were apprehended by security agents,” he said.
He said one of the fraudsters was still at large but the security agencies were on his trail, adding with confidence that he would soon be apprehended.
The acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, had in a statement last week explained that although preliminary investigations so far had not revealed any accomplices within the CBN, management decided to place all key personnel involved in the transaction on suspension. This, according to him, was to ensure a full and unfettered investigation.
“This incidence has been reported to the relevant authorities. The CBN wishes to assure the general public that the security of the bank remains intact,” the statement had said.
Meanwhile, the central bank yesterday clarified the suspension of some of its personnel following the fraud uncovered and aborted by it last week in Abuja.
A statement from Okorafor explained that the affected personnel suspended by the CBN’s management had to undergo the administrative procedure because they handled the routine processing of the said payment.
Okorafor, who reiterated that preliminary investigations so far had not revealed any accomplice within the central bank, noted that management had to suspend the officers in order to allow unfettered investigation into the matter.

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