Businessman used POS to dupe Nigerian bank of N1.2 billion – Witness

EFCC operative used to illustrate the story
EFCC operative used to illustrate the story

A prosecution witness, Chuks Igboerika, a manager with Access Bank Plc, on Monday told Justice M.S. Hassan of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos how a suspected fraudster, Ifeanyi Nwaneri, had carried out fraudulent transactions to the tune of N1,231,105,297.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Thirty-one Million, One Hundred and Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety- seven Naira, Eighty Kobo) using a Point of Sale, POS.

Mr Nwaneri is facing trial alongside Omede Silas Shehu and Monday Akor on an 11- count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.2 billion.

The complainant, Access Bank Plc, alleged it deployed a POS terminal enabled for international transactions/cards to Nwaneri, who is one of the bank’s customers with account number 0047820964.

It was further alleged that Mr Nwaneri, who claimed to be a businessman, was later found to have carried out fraudulent transactions on the POS.

The bank also alleged that on September 22, 2017, the POS Unit of the bank received a mail from Interswitch on alleged fraudulent transactions totalling N1.2billion via the merchant’s terminal, a development that led to the arrest of Mr Ifeanyi at the Dopemu, Agege, Lagos branch of the bank.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Nwaneri was said to have withdrawn a sum of N532, 929,914.91 (Five Hundred and Thirty Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fourteen Naira, Ninety One Kobo), leaving a sum of N677, 856,826.80 (Six Hundred and Seventy Seven Million, Eight Hundred Fifty-six, Eight Hundred and Twenty-six Naira, Eighty Kobo) in his account.

At the resumed hearing today, the prosecution witness told the court that findings and reviews done by VISA and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, revealed that the POS transactions did not follow the normal procedure for international card transaction.

Led by the prosecution counsel, Nnemeka Omewa, the witness said: “The transactions should have procedurally gone through the issuing bank, which is Access Bank Plc. Then, it should have gone to VISA, that is the owner of the card, through Interswitch, which serves as a switching company and finally to the POS merchant (the first defendant) through the consent of Access Bank.”

He said the transaction, however, went from the merchant POS to Interswitch without getting to VISA.

“But they were all approved by Interswitch as successful transactions,” he added.

He also told the court that findings by the CBN revealed that the transactions were fraudulent and consummated between Interswitch and the POS merchant.

“ Consequently, Interswitch was sanctioned with 75 per cent of the total loss to Access Bank; UBA was sanctioned with five per cent of the total loss for its role in the transactions; Access Bank (the merchant’s bank) was sanctioned with 20 per cent of the total loss based on its negligence on Know Your Customer (KYC) policy”, the witness further said.

Giving further testimony, the witness told the court that a sum of N677million was recovered from the first defendant’s bank account, leaving a debit balance of over N532m deficit, which was shared amongst the three parties – Interswtich, UBA and Access Bank by CBN.

The case was adjourned to July 2 for continuation of trial.



Coronavirus factsheet


Advertisement

PT Mag Campaign AD

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...



BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application