N6.5 billion fraud: Trial of CBN officials starts today in Ibadan

Posted by News Express | 2 June 2015 | 3,915 times

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Six officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies, are to be arraigned in court this morning  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They are Patience Okoro Eye (Abuja), Afolabi Olufemi (Lagos), Kolawole Babalola (Ibadan), Olaniran  Muniru Adeola (Ibadan), Fatai Yusuf, Adekunle (Head, Security, CBN, (Ibadan) and Ilori Adekunle Sunday (Akure).

“The suspects drawn from various business units of the apex bank are to be docked by the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from today to Thursday June 4,” EFCC Head, Media & Publicity Wilson Uwujaren, said.

He added that “the remaining 16 suspects are drawn from various commercial banks who were found to have conspired with the CBN executives to swing the heist.” The suspects are to face a five-count charge.

According to Uwujaren, “The lid on the scam which is widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for years, was blown on November 3, 2014 via a petition to the EFCC alleging that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00 (Six Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Five-Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira) was cornered and discreetly recycled by light fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.

“The suspects, who were members of the Briquetting Panel, plotted their way to infamy on September 8, 2014, while carrying out a Briquetting exercise at the CBN Branch, Ibadan.

“In banking parlance, Briquetting is disintegration and destruction of counted and audited dirty notes. By this practice, depositor banks usually take mutilated notes to the CBN in exchange for fresh notes equivalent of the amount deposited.

“The depositor banks in this instance, are Zenith Bank, FCMB, Wema Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank and Sterling Bank

“But while carrying out the assignment, the team were alleged to have found one of the currency boxes filled only with old newspapers rather than 20 bundles of N1,000 notes.

“A similar case, according to investigation, had been discovered on September 22, 2014 when a box that was supposed to contain N500 notes to the tune of N5billion was filled with old newspapers. Unlike in the past, this fraud could not be swept under the carpet, as a member of the Briquetting Panel from the Osogbo branch blew the lid on the illicit deal.”

•Photo shows the suspected CBN staff.


Source: News Express

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