N37m Fraud: EFCC Uncovers Criminal Syndicate of Bankers Stealing Depositors’ Funds

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The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered a criminal syndicate of bankers that specialised in forging signatures of deceased banks’ customers, and stealing from their accounts.

According to the agency, “the criminal syndicate also executes fraudulent financial transactions, including unauthorised debits of depositors’ funds.”

The agency said that members of the criminal syndicate, included Mbong Essien, Akwa Ephraim Akwa, Precious John, Kenneth Udoetuk and Ubong Udom who were on Monday, March 2, 2020 arraigned before Justice Archibong Archibong of the Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo.

They were charged with a 23-count allegations bordering on conspiracy, forgery, obtaining by false pretence and criminal conversion of depositors’ funds to the tune of N37, 690,000 (Thirty-seven million, Six hundred and ninety thousand naira).

It said the management of Fidelity Bank Plc, Abak Road branch in Uyo and 72 of the banks’ customers had, in a petition, dated December 9, 2019, alerted the Commission to suspicious withdrawals from customers’ accounts, including that of a deceased customer.

“Investigation by the EFCC revealed that Mbong used his position as the Head, Operations and Transaction Service and Delivery, established a criminal syndicate that specialized in perpetrating the fraudulent transactions and deductions.

“Further investigations also showed that without the authorization or knowledge of the management of the bank, the defendants managed a fictitious fixed deposit account with interest accruing to it,” EFCC said.

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