LAGOS, Nigeria – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of one Abass Mohammed and a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator, Ibrahim Saidu Jogal.
They connived to hack into the Flexcube database of Union Bank and stole N2,550,000,000.
EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, in a statement on Friday, said it received a petition on the theft.
Investigation showed that the money was credited into the accounts of mostly BDC operators, including one Jaxmine BDC, Gona BDC and Great Well Communication.
Mohammed sourced for the account details of Jaxmine BDC from one of his friends, Lawal Ubah, who was a signatory to the account.
“He subsequently gave the details to one Salisu Liman (aka Zico), the ring leader of the syndicate. The sum of N450million was then credited into the account”, EFCC noted.
The sum of N79million was transferred from the account of Jaxmine BDC into the account of Digare BDC owned by Jogal for the purpose of buying $500,000.
Further investigations revealed that Jogal only paid $80,000 to Mohammed and kept the balance of $420,000.
The gang was arraigned before Justice K. A. Jose of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, on three-count charges bordering on conspiracy, retention and use of proceeds of criminal conduct.
The offenses were contrary to Section 331(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws No. 11, Vol 44 of Lagos State 2011.
The accused pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, paving the way for the commencement of their trial.
EFCC presented three witnesses – Vincent Agwu, a Union Bank official, and two investigators, Joseph Nkeson and Aliyu Abubakar.
Several documents were tendered in court by the prosecution.
Justice Jose found the defendants guilty on counts two and three, and discharged them on count one, which bordered on conspiracy to defraud.
Mohammed was sentenced to one year in prison.
Jose ordered that the sum of $37,000 and $7,000 recovered from him be handed over to Union Bank.
He also directed that a car seized from him be sold and the proceeds given to Union Bank.
On Jogal, the judge observed that he showed no contrition, and failed to pay back a substantial sum of the money traced to him.
Jogal was sentenced to three years in prison.
Justice Jose ordered that the sum of $220,000 and another $200,000 earlier recovered from him be given to Union Bank.
The judge also ordered that his property, whose title documents he gave to the EFCC, be sold and the proceeds handed over to the financial institution.