CID stops GHC326 million UMB bank theft, 12 arrested

CID stops GHC326 million UMB bank theft, 12 arrested

- Ghana police have arrested 12 suspects in the biggest cyber-crime operation in Ghana

- The suspects are made up of Nigerians and Ghanaians in a cyber-crime syndicate

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), of the Ghana Police Service, have arrested 12 suspected criminals in the biggest ever cyber-crime in recent times in the country.

An Accra Circuit Court on last Friday remanded into police custody 11 out of the 12 suspected bank fraudsters.

The court also ordered the suspects to reappear on August 9, 2018 to assist police conduct further investigations into the financial crime.

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According to the police, all the suspects, believed to be part of a wider cyber-crime syndicate made up of Nigerians and Ghanaians, attempted transferring a whopping GHC326 million from the vault of Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), electronically.

However, the bank detected that the amount was transferred electronically into the internal operational accounts of UMB and subsequently credited to the accounts of certain customers.

This the bank after said after detecting the security breaches alerted the Financial Forensics Unit of the CID, who dispatched personnel to all branches of the bank to arrest persons who will visit the branches to withdraw money from some identified accounts credited with the money.

It was discovered that the accounts that the monies were credited to were all single-purpose accounts opened to receive the stolen money, and UMB quickly flagged all the accounts.

According to report, in all the transaction, each account was credited with between GHC10 million and GHC15 million.

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Further reports state that even before the matter was reported to the police, about GH¢1 million of the money had been withdrawn from some of the accounts through Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates using internationally accepted credit cards.

The police in a briefing, confirmed that six people who attempted withdrawing money from some of the identified bank accounts in Ghana had been arrested.

And six others associated with those arrested have also been picked up by the police on grounds that they may be members of the syndicate.

Meanwhile, management of UMB, in a statement over the weekend, announced that the bank remains resilient, and very committed to working with security forces to clean the system of any form of cyber-attacks.

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