Security agents have detained a contract employee of one of Ghana’s biggest banks [name withheld] for allegedly stealing close to GH1.2 million from client bank accounts.
He transferred the specified sum over the course of two months from the various customers’ bank accounts to a branch of the bank in Osu, Accra.
Bank staff arrested for stealing over GH¢1.2m from customers’ accounts to impress his girlfriend
He allegedly took money from a judge’s and a previous Inspector General of Police’s accounts, both of whom are now deceased.
What did he do with the cash?
He allegedly transferred some of the funds to his account in another bank, the accounts of his accomplices (17 in total), also in various banks, and their mobile money accounts. He allegedly used some of the funds to purchase an iPhone 14 Pro Max and a Toyota Camry.
He had intended to sneak away with his girlfriend to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates after purchasing an airline ticket.
On June 4, 2023, the security agencies acted swiftly, laid a trap for him, and captured him at the Kotoka International Airport.
Emmanuel Sakyi Afriyie, 25, and a few of his accomplices were later brought before the court and held in detention. Nevertheless, bail has been granted for his conspirators.
He is accused of a number of offences, including conspiracy and theft with some of his aides.
Emmanuel is the only one facing additional charges of falsifying accounts and forging other documents, raising his total number of accusations against him to 13.
However, eleven more alleged accomplices are still at large. He entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
The situation is being looked into further by the police. On June 16, 2023, he must reappear in front of Ellen Ofei-Ayeh’s bench.
What was his secret?
The accused person is accused of carrying out the transactions using his boss’ password.
The accused allegedly discreetly recorded his employer using a mobile phone as she entered her password, and he later examined the clip to determine the password she was using.
The accused then transferred the funds from the customers’ accounts over the course of the next two months.
The complainant in this instance is the bank’s Head of Fraud Detection and Operations.
He claims that the defendant lives in Labone and that, up until May 2023, he was employed by the bank as a processing officer.
In the month of February 2022, the accused person was hired by the bank as a contract employee and posted to the Osu branch as a Processing Officer. Among other things, this position’s responsibilities included helping customers with loan processing, T-bill processing, debit card processing, dormant account activation, and customer account maintenance.
The accused worked on numerous accounts as a result of the job description.
The renewal annual subscription price for the accused’s online coding course was US$174.30, which is equal to GH2,287.69, and it was paid sometime in February 2023.
On February 6, 2023, the accused used a Visa card belonging to a bank client to pay for the course rather than using his own money.
In order to prosecute the accused, the complainant and the bank’s Fraud team were compiling evidence, but the accused quickly moved to tender in his resignation letter, effective May 31, 2023.
The accused person’s suspected illegal transaction on the customer’s Visa card and the abrupt resignation raised the bank officials’ suspicions, leading them to look into him further.
The complaint and the fraud team, which was made up of IT specialists from the bank, discovered that on April 20, 2023, the accused changed the contact number on another customer’s accounts through his own scheme.
In order to gain access to the same client’s account on April 21, 2023, the accused personally set up internet and mobile banking access using his own User ID and password. As a result, he got access to the account and began making transactions without the victim customer receiving an SMS alert.
Consequently, the accused, who had complete access to the aforementioned account from April 21 to May 12, 2023, defraudedly transferred a total of GH945,133.00, including charges from the accounts, to a number of individuals.
First and foremost, he made transactions totaling GH$90,000 to the girlfriend of another accused person, GH$180,000 to another’s account, GH$30,000, and additional transfers in tranches of GH$30,000 made to the accounts of other accused people in various banks on various dates within the aforementioned time.
He changed and authorised the contact numbers for eleven customers’ accounts on May 9, 2023, between 7:21 and 7:32am, including the accounts of the deceased judge and the former IGP, who is also deceased, and other customers, and replaced them with just one contact phone number. He did this by using the Users IDs of another colleague and the branch manager.
The accused took eleven minutes to complete these steps, the prosecutor testified, and on May 10, 2023, he used his own User ID to set up online and mobile banking for these accounts.
He moved GH50,000.00 in tranches to other accounts on May 11, 2023, and did it again the following day.
In their respective investigative cautioned statements, the receivers who received those transactions claimed that the accused visited their stores to buy an iPhone 14 Pro Max, asked for their bank account information, and was then given that information so he could make the payments into their accounts.
He was detained by the police on May 12, 2023, in connection with the theft of a Visa card, and was given police inquiry bail.
On May 15, 2023, the complainant filed a petition with the Director General of CID regarding a theft worth GHC 1,207,017 that was discovered in connection with the Visa Card case.
Fail attempts to force his surety to produce him also occurred when he was approached to report himself to the police. This is interesting.
The accused attempted to flee the country to Dubai on June 4, 2023, with the help of his girlfriend, who served as his surety. However, the Ghana Immigration Service detained him at the Kotoka International Airport and turned him over to the police.
The inquiry has thus far shown that between April and May 2023, the accused and his conspirators took GH1,209,304.69 in total from the various clients’ accounts.
The authorities are still looking into the case in order to find and apprehend all of the other suspects as well as the stolen property.