Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has narrated how Fidelity Bank’s top staff hacked the bank database, stole over N870m in 3 days from customers.
The crime commission said this, on Wednesday when it presented witnesses in an ongoing fraud case. The suspects in the trial are Olusegun Babasola, Abisola Ahmed, Uchechukwu Uma, and Jude Aphaeus who are staff of Fidelity bank.
They are being prosecuted for an alleged N874 million fraud before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
They allegedly played roles in the hacking of the bank’s database and cloning of more than 22 ATM cards used to steal and divert to personal use about N874 million belonging 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, which prompted the ongoing trial.
At Wednesday’s proceedings, Peter Ige, an Information System Auditor with the bank, narrated how his Department had been called upon to investigate the fraud.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, the witness identified the four staff of the bank in the dock and gave details of the findings of the internal investigation carried out by his team.
On 15 July 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.
“We observed that the accounts were linked to a set of ATM cards, with their daily withdrawal limits increased from N150,000 to about N150 million,” he said.
He further told the court that the permitted frequency of withdrawal was also increased, adding that “this was very abnormal; and so, it aided the commission of the fraud.”
Ige also stated that the investigation focused on the members of staff who had authorized 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 said.
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 was adjourned till Thursday, March 3, 2022.