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First Bank Staff On The Run After Diverting Customer’s ₦40 Billion To His Personal Accounts



First Bank Staff On The Run After Diverting Customer's ₦40 Billion To His Personal Accounts

A staff of First Bank Nigeria Plc is on the run after he allegedly diverted the sum of $29 million (N829 billion) belonging to customers into private accounts one of which belongs to his wife.

The fleeing staff, Tijani Muiz Adeyinka, worked at the Iganmu branch of the bank in Lagos state, Nigeria.

The extent of the fraud which reports said went on for about two years is rocking the bank to its foundation as it struggles to meet the recapitalization requirements recently put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


The bank reported the incident to the Nigerian Police Force on March 25, 2024, and obtained three court orders between April 4–8, 2024 to block hundreds of bank accounts believed to have received the stolen funds.

According to TechCabal, three people with direct knowledge of the incident revealed that while the initial amount discovered to be diverted was around ₦12 billion, it now stands at around ₦40 billion ($29 million).

As a manager on the electronic products team at First Bank, the employee, identified by court documents as Tijani Muiz Adeyinka was authorised to process reversals for customers, said one First Bank employee with knowledge of the matter. It meant he controlled an account with which he processed those reversals and could credit merchant accounts.


Muiz allegedly used that authority to instead credit customer reversal requests to a merchant he controlled. As the last line of authorisation on the team, he allegedly did not need any further approvals, it allowed him to carry on diverting customer funds for almost two years without detection.

His scheme was eventually discovered when a customer made a complaint that was eventually escalated to the bank’s internal control unit. The control unit discovered several suspicious transactions and reported to the police.

“We hereby bring to your notice the discovery of fraudulent transactions into various transactions within and outside the bank and request your good offices to set up the machinery of investigation in place with a view to unravel the circumstances surrounding the said fraud and get the culprits apprehending to face the wrath of the law,” read a letter dated May 10, 2024, from First bank to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police.


“I discovered that one Muiz Tijani Adeyinka, a former staff of First Bank was involved in the nefarious posting of fraudulent transactions,” read a statement from the investigating Police officer in charge of the case signed March 26, 2024.

“It was discovered that he made some fraudulent transactions to his wife’s account number (name withheld) domiciled with Zenith Bank, which in turn transferred to other beneficiaries totaling thirty-four accounts which also gave birth to second beneficiaries domiciled with other banks totaling 1,190 accounts,” the statement added.

Across multiple court documents and complaints, First Bank did not state how much money was stolen. It was also silent on how the money was obtained while asking the Police to “unravel the circumstances surrounding the fraud.”


One of the beneficiary accounts reportedly used some of the stolen funds to purchase the stablecoin USDT from various cryptocurrency traders.

Those traders claimed their only involvement was selling USDT and denied knowing the funds they received were proceeds of fraud. They have now been drawn into a legal battle with the bank with restrictions on their accounts at the time of this report.

The investigation continues as authorities work to unravel the full extent of the fraudulent scheme and recover the diverted funds.


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