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Liberia news

Criminals infiltrate banks

Two separate alleged criminal cash transfers from two local commercial banks here have been reported by police authorities in Monrovia, linking Liberian and Nigerian suspects.

A team of four Nigerian and Liberian criminal suspects are accused of transferring US$9,000 from Ecobank Liberia to their Nigerian counterparts believed to be residing in Brazil through internet banking.

While in a separate case in Ganta, Nimba County, four employees of the First International Bank or FIBank have been charged and sent to court after allegedly sharing secret passwords and stealing US$300,100.00.

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A police charged sheet claims that FIBank employees, defendants Dayton S. Boe, Watson N.Yeanue, Daniel A. Berrian and Lauretta K.Y. Paye, admitted after their arrest on February 7, 2015 “that they criminally exposed and shared their individual passwords with each other… and as a result… they made away with the total sum of $300,100” USD.

As for the alleged theft affecting Ecobank Liberia, Liberian suspects Randolph Snortor, Christopher Cole and Nigerian suspects Jusu George and Offordile N. Everistus Nateonus allegedly conspired with some unidentified Nigerians residing in Brazil through internet banking system and hacked into accounts and transferred US$9,000 into account number 0043144710787101.

On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Police Spokesman Sam Collins told reporters on Capitol Hill that the suspects, who hacked into Ecobank accounts, are being investigated at the Major Crime Unit of the Liberia National Police, a newly merged unit replacing erstwhile National Bureau of Investigation or NBI.

Before Ecobank could be alerted of the alleged criminal cash transfer by the Nigerians and Liberians internet bankers, Mr. Collins said the suspects had already made a transfer of US$5,000.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Collins told reporters that suspects accused of stealing US$300,100 after exposing their secret passwords with one another at FIBank have been charged with theft of property and sent to court in Nimba County.

The FIBank employees were investigated here in Monrovia at Police Headquarters. They allegedly posted, filled in withdrawal slips and received the amounts [and] destroyed withdrawal slips except one, but failed to print out the transaction journals, police claimed.

Police said the scandal has left the bank to loss US$300,100, adding that this full scale criminal investigation was instituted based upon a written complaint filed by Deputy FIBank Managing Director, Mrs. Rhonda von Ballmoos, and FIBank CEO/ Managing Director, Mr. Wole Sodipe.

By Winston W. Parley

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