5 Suspected Hackers Face Trial For Stealing Bank's N241m

court of law

The gavel of justice

Akin Kuponiyi

A contract staff of Diamond Bank Plc, Eniola Morondiya, alleged to have colluded with four suspected fraudusters, Suleiman Haruna Muhammad, Ibrahim Danazumi, Rolaand Aroko and Francis Akpabio, to hack into the bank’s website to swindle the bank of N241 million, have been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

In a six-count criminal charge number FHC/L/176C/2015 filed before the court alongside the statements of the accused persons by the prosecuting counsel from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr E.K. Ugwu, it was alleged that Eniola Morondiya, a contract staff and a Teller with Diamond Bank Plc, conspired at a hotel in Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, with Suleiman Haruna Mohammed, Ibrahim Danazumi, Roland Aroko, Francis Akpabio and others at large to fraudulently transfer the sum of N241 million from two separate accounts with number 000251140 and 0002518551 in Diamond Bank Plc, to several other accounts.

According to the six-count criminal charge filed before the court against the five accused persons, the fraud was successfully carried out by the accused persons when Eniola Morondiya was provided with key logger (grabber) by the accused persons, one of them being Suleiman Haruna Mohammed, her boyfriend, which she plugged into her computer system in the bank for two consecutive days.

During this period, it was alleged that the key logger copied the bank’s website, the Customer Service Manager’s identity and password as well as Eniola Morondiya’s password and identity.

Using these strategic intelligence information the accused harvested credentials from the key logger to authorise the fraudulent transfer of the sum of N241 milion from Diamond Bank account numbers 000251140 and 0002518551 and later to other different banks and accounts from where substantial amounts of the money was moved to their agents.

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In count four and five of the criminal charge Eniola Morondiya was arraigned for fraudulently directly posting and transferring N241 milion from Diamond Bank Plc accounts to several accounts initialy, as first layer beneficiaries and from there to other different banks and accounts, from where substantial amounts of the money was moved through the agents of the fraud syndicate to the syndicate members who were supposed to know that the money is a proceed of fraud.

In count six the fifth accused Francis Akpabio was arraigned for receiving from Eniola Morondiya the sum of N27,500,000 transferred to his company account Edokolori Oil Ventures from where same day N7 million was transferred to an account in Ecobank and Akpabio withdrew the sum of N3 million and equally transferred the sum of N2,100,000 and retained the sum of N15 million.

The offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons are contrary to and punishable under sections 15, 17, and 18a of the Money Laundering Act.

All the accused persons who are currently on bail pleaded not guilty to all the criminal charges.

Consequently, the presiding Judge, Okon Abang, adjourned the matter till 18 November, 2015 when the trial of the accused persons will commence.

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