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Detectives from the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have arrested a 35-year-old fraudster over a N1.87 billion fraud.

The suspect, Salau Abdulmalik Femi, according to the police, is the kingpin of a syndicate that specialises in hacking into the servers of banks and corporate agencies.

They said the suspect who had displayed exemplary mastery of the cyber environment was arrested after he hacked the Flex-Cube Universal Banking System (FCUBS) of a first generation bank.

The spokesman of SFU, Ikoyi, Lagos, DSP Eyitayo Johnson, in a statement, said the suspect, using application software, created fictitious credits totalling N1.87bn on the accounts of three of the bank’s customers.

DSP Johnson said the suspect successfully consummated debits (outflows) amounting to N417.5m through internet banking transfers to other banks.

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He said the unit, while acting swiftly on a petition from the bank; contacted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the deposit money banks which customers were beneficiaries of the fraudulent funds and that in the process was able to salvage a substantial amount.

“Items recovered from the suspect include an Apple laptop and an iPhone, and he and operators of some Bureau De Change (BDC) used to launder the monies will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the unit, Anderson A. Bankole, has scheduled a meeting with Chief Compliance Officers/and Heads of Technology/Information Security departments of banks with a view to brainstorm on the loophole exploited by this suspect and how to counter similar hacks for the benefit of both the police and the banking sector of our economy.”

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