Bank Staff Narrates How He Stole Over N20m From Customers

Christian Amechi, who worked at the headquarters (Victoria Island, Lagos) ATM Customer service unit of a new generation bank has revealed how he, alongside his gang stole over 20 million of bank customers’ money by extracting information extracted from the SIM cards obtained from stolen phones.

His accomplices are Oyozoje Joseph, Nelson Matthew Eugari, Henry Omogbemi and Ene Mona Gabriel who are being detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command.

Earlier, the confessional statement of a notorious pickpocket, Mr. Akeem Apejoye who was finally nabbed by the police in Lagos indicted several others including Christian, the banker as the one who encouraged him to continue to steal phones.

He alleged that Christian and his gang were mainly interested in the SIM cards of the stolen phones.

He led the police to the homes of the people who were collecting the SIM cards from him.

Though, he alleged that he was not in the know that Christian and his group use the SIM cards to remove money from the accounts of customers, he added that the group often buys him drinks at joints whenever he runs into them.

Christian said “I am a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) where I read banking and finance.

“Luckily for me, I was employed by the bank (name withheld) and was the ATM card system analyst at the bank headquarters, Victoria Island, Lagos.

“I grew up in Ajegunle and I know almost all members of the gang.

“I know them on the street, but I was introduced into the business by one of my friends known as Osey boy and DJ.’’

FG Moves to Seize BVN-less Accounts

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a request by Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for a temporary forfeiture of all funds held in bank accounts not linked to BVNs.

Also to be forfeited are funds in accounts whose ownership could not be identified.

The latter are accounts without sufficient know-your-customer credentials, PREMIUM TIMES has reported. .

The order followed an originating motion of notice filed by Mr. Malami on behalf of the Nigerian government on September 28.

Justice Dimgba granted all the nine reliefs sought by Mr. Malami —himself represented by a lawyer, Usman Dakas— on October 17.

The court ordered all the 19 deposit money banks, DMBs, operating in the country to release to Nigerian government names of accounts not yet connected to BVN; account numbers; their outstanding balances; domiciling locations; and domiciliary accounts without BVN and where they are domiciled.

Nigeria deposit money banks that were listed as respondents in the ex-parte suit are: Access Bank, Citi Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank and First City Monument Bank.

Others are: Guaranty Trust Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa.

The remaining three are: Unity, Bank Wema Bank and Zenith Bank.

The court also ordered all of them to disclose any investments made with funds and to withhold authorisation for any outward inflow of funds from the accounts. All the details are to be submitted to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, and the CBN for authentication.

The banks were also directed to publish all bank accounts not linked to BVN in national newspapers with a 14-day notice for individuals with interest in such accounts to come forward and justify why their funds should not be forfeited to the Nigerian government.

Mr. Dimgba also ordered the CBN, which was joined as 20th respondent alongside the 19 DMBs, to appoint an official who will examine all the details submitted to the apex bank for compliance.

The government argued the matter under Section 3 of the Money Laundering Act, 2011.

The section said banks must “ensure that documents, data or information collected under the customer due diligence process is kept up-to-date and relevant by undertaking reviews of existing records, particularly for higher risk categories of customers or business relationships.”

The Bank Verification Number is a unique identification number that can be verified and used to transact business across all the banking platforms in Nigeria.

The CBN imposed the policy to capture customers’ data for financial transactions and check fraud in the banking system.

Registration for BVNs commenced on February 14, 2014, across the country. The CBN said over 20.8 million customers enrolled 40 million bank accounts before the October 31, 2015, final deadline for customers residing within the country.

The CBN extended the deadline for Nigerians in the diaspora to December 2016 to sign up for the BVN system. But hundreds of thousands home and abroad are still believed to be left behind.


BVN Mandate Grace Till August 1st – CBN

As from August 1, all customers without Bank Verification Number (BVN) linked to their bank accounts will not be allowed to make a withdrawal from those accounts, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to the apex bank, the measure becomes necessary as the absence of a unique identifier in the banking industry is a major challenge inhibiting the effectiveness of the Know Your Customer (KYC) principle.

In a letter to all Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) by its Director, OFIs Supervision Department, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, obtained from CBN website on Monday, the apex bank stated that it has become necessary to extend the BVN enrolment to customers of OFIs, especially as some OFIs are located in the rural areas and have customers that may not have enrolled with commercial banks.

“In view of the foregoing, all OFIs are required to enroll their customers on or before July 31, 2017; conspicuously display notices sensitising customers on BVN in the banking hall; ensure that all new customers have BVN and forward to the Director, OFIs Supervision Department schedule of customers’ accounts with BVN on August 7, 2017,” the circular stated.

Enumerating the benefits of BVN enrollment to both customers and the banking sector, Mrs Martins said: “The BVN is expected to minimise the incidence of fraud and money laundering in the financial system as well as enhance financial inclusion. The BVN enrollment will support the achievement of the zero default credit targets set for the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department Fund (MSMEDF). It will also open opportunities for credit to millions of Nigerians without a standard means of identification.”

Going down memory lane on the history of the BVN, she stated: “To address this challenge (absence of a unique identifier) and complement the existing means of identification of customers, which include driver’s licence; international passport; National Identity Card and the Permanent Voter’s Card, the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, launched the BVN project in February 2014. The implementation of the BVN initiative, which started with the customers of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) has been very successful. However, to avoid a broken identification link in the banking system, it has become necessary to extend the BVN enrolment to the customers of OFIs, especially as some OFIs are located in the rural areas and have customers that may not have enrolled with the DMBs.”



Source: Sun

KWSG To Workers: No BVN, No Salaries

The Kwara State government has directed state and local government workers and pensioners that are yet to provide their Bank Verification Number (BVN) for the ongoing staff verification exercise to do so within seven days or risk nonpayment.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who gave the directive on Tuesday during a meeting of the Committee on Personnel Database Development, said government has no intention of withholding any worker’s salary without justification.  He said the affected workers and pensioners will still be credited with their salaries and pensions but will not be able to access the money until they obtain BVN.

Governor Ahmed, who is also chairman of the Committee, explained that the unique bank numbers were necessary for preliminary verification of workers and pensioners on the state and local government councils’ payroll, noting that at this stage of the verification those without valid BVN could not yet be designated as ghost workers.

Governor Ahmed said the intention behind the Personnel Database System is to give the government an accurate picture of the state and Local Government Councils’ payroll and ensure that only those properly employed receive salaries and pensions.

In his remarks, the Alternate Chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Isiaka Gold disclosed that of the 82, 642 workers so far verified by the committee, only 49, 579 have valid BVN while 124 were discovered to have fake BVN. He said that the first level verification also revealed 324 individuals who were linked to 659 multiple accounts.

Alhaji Gold, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, therefore, urged workers and pensioners that are yet to submit their BVN to do so within 7 days or risk having their payments withheld. He called on workers who were properly recruited by the state and local governments to remain calm, while assuring them that the ongoing verification exercise will not affect their salaries and jobs.

Osun Govt Suspends Collection Of BVN By Public Officers

The State Government of Osun has directed that collection of Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) from banks should be put on hold in the interim.

This  directive was given today in Osogbo in a government circular issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Adebimpe Ogunlumade,mni.

According to the circular, it has been brought to the notice of the State Government the difficulties being encountered by most public officers in the state in collecting the required Bank Verification Number printouts from their banks.

The Permanent Secretary stressed that while  the Bank Verification Number(BVN) is part of the process to sanitise and streamline the payroll, the Government has no intention of unduly inconveniencing its loyal and supportive workforce .

She therefore pointed out that putting on hold in the interim the collection of BVN from banks is to allow the State Government to review the process and come up with a better arrangement to achieve this end.

23,306 ‘Ghost Workers’ Exposed On FG Payroll Via BVN

No fewer than 23,306 names are to be deleted from the Federal Government’s payroll.

A team probing multiple salary payments recommended 23,306 civil servants and some banks for thorough investigations.

The government has started deleting the indicted civil servants from its payroll, The Nation learnt yesterday.

It was also learnt that some of those affected have tendered their resignation letters to pre-empt dismissal from service and prosecution.

According to a source, of 312,306 civil servants, whose bank accounts have so far been checked through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) platform, 23,306 have issues with their accounts.

The source claimed that with the adoption of the BVN for salary payment, the Federal Ministry of Finance has so far checked the details of about 312,000 civil servants— a development said to have led to the discovery of many irregularities in salary payment.

“Out of the accounts of about 312,000 civil servants processed so far, the ministry was said to have uncovered irregularities in the account of about 23,306 of them, who were suspected to have been collecting double salary.

“These indicted individuals are in two categories. In the first group, we found out that the names of some civil servants, whose salaries are being processed, are different from the names on the accounts where their salaries are paid. What this means is either those in this category are drawing salary from two sources (which could be different agencies), or they are ghost workers,” the source said.

The source added that the probe also showed that salaries were being paid to some inactive accounts, thus raising the suspicion that government was merely making payment to ghost workers.

But it was gathered yesterday that the Federal Government has placed some banks under watch for their roles in the salary scam.

The probe panel was said to have discovered that some of the inactive accounts were domiciled in a particular branch of a bank.

It was learnt that over 300 accounts of some civil servants were opened on the same day and all of them have become dormant.

The Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on Media Matters, Mr. Festus Akanbi, said last night, “The public will be appropriately briefed when the full report is ready.”

The adoption of the BVN became inevitable due to the failure of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to effectively deal with the issue of ghost workers in the federal civil service.

A source in the ministry explained that the strategy of using BVN rather than requiring the physical presence of each worker “significantly simplified and accelerated the progress of the project and at a lower cost than previously incurred”.


The Nation