Chidinma Peter, the third prosecution witness in the trial of four Fidelity Bank staff for alleged N874 million fraud, on Thursday told the Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja, how the defendants cloned 22 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards to perpetrate the crime.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the four bank’s staff – Olusegun Babasola, Abisola Ahmed, Uchechukwu Uma, and Jude Aphaeus alongside one Omidiji Joseph on a two-count charge of fraud.
The quintet were arraigned for hacking the bank’s database and cloned the ATM cards to steal the money belonging to five corporate customers: American International Insurance Company Limited (AIICO); Interswitch; OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Fidelity Bank Sinking Fund Account and FSL Securities Limited.
The second prosecution witness, Peter Ige, testified on the matter on Wednesday.
At Thursday’s proceedings, EFCC tendered more exhibits, including a DVD of the bank’s CCTV footage against the defendants.
Peter, who is an EFCC operative, told the court how the investigations unravelled the fraud.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, the witness said the commission received a petition from Fidelity Bank on the alleged fraud and immediately swung into action.
He said: “Upon receipt, we commenced investigation into the alleged fraud, which we found out was perpetrated using the Postillion App.
We accessed the banking app domiciled in the server to ascertain the IP address used.
“It pointed to a system domiciled at the Virtual Unit of the bank domiciled in Lagos.
“The system was identified and we found out it was used to de-link already existing ATM cards, and link them to some other accounts.”
“Investigation revealed that the ATM cards were linked to the five victims ‘accounts from which N874 million was withdrawn at different times.
“The system used was identified and we observed that for it to be accessed, login details must be used.
“We found out that the profile used belonged to the third and fourth defendants.
“We reviewed the activities of the Virtual Unit and found out that three members of staff of the Unit also viewed the affected accounts prior to the withdrawals when they had no reason to do so.
“For the Virtual Unit of the bank to view an account, there must be a request from the Qserve, but a review for the period from 9th to 15th July 2019 did not reveal any request to the Virtual Unit of the bank.”