…Threatened to arrest Investors who received Overpayment
…Staff Arrested as Auditors Uncover Massive Fraud In Baraza
A team of auditors have uncovered a massive fraud involving some staff of Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society, the Chief Executive Officer, Miebi Bribena, confirmed on Saturday, May 29.
He said based on expert advice, he invited some experienced auditors to come and check the books of the cooperative and the outcome of the preliminary report is not only disheartening but a major setback to its Road Map to recovery plan.
Bribena lamented that some of the staff involved are those directly managing payment platforms for the Cooperative and they decided to explore the available loopholes to milk the organization dry of monies running into millions of naira.
The Baraza CEO at his weekly Facebook live briefing said: “Apart from the fact that there were some loss of some trades as was mentioned in our general meeting on the 17th of April, 2021, we have also had multiple reports of suspicion of deliberate attempts to sabotage the operations of Baraza and acts of fraud both from internal and external elements.
“As a result of this, we commissioned special auditors nationwide and very interesting revelations have been surfacing.
The road to recovery will not be complete if these acts of sabotage and fraud are not identified and the system purged. Baraza is not a ponzi scheme and we did not set up the outfit to crash”.
Bribena stated that some of the discoveries by the auditors include, capturing fake names and paying huge sums of cash to pseudo accounts on a daily basis and issuing of cash receipts and diverting funds to their personal accounts without remitting the money to Baraza account.
He also said the suspects at various times, received cash from members and record in their receipts as POS transactions then diverting funds to their personal account without remitting the money to Baraza account and deliberately also paying family and friends in multiple folds and receiving same back using proxy accounts.
His words: Staff using their personal/friends & family accounts to receive refunds from genuine members who were overpaid and never remitted it to authorized revovery accounts.
“Staff that have deliberately allegedly caused sabotage and stolen Baraza money to go and start their own Cooperative Society and Trading Platforms.
All Baraza money shall be recovered”.
According to him, the said staff attempted to erase record data in the automated payment system aimed at misleading the auditors and and the investigation, amongst other findings but failed.
He appealed to genuine members that have received multiple payments and have returned same to any staff account to kindly avail the Cooperative a prove of such refund as auditors trace may automatically terminate such account without due benefits, and complaints of fraud reported to the security agencies.
“Anyone that has received money that does not belong to you should kindly come forward and return same. Receiving money that is not due to you is a crime and only restitution can stop us from pressing charges if recovered.
“We want to assure all our members that we are committed to purge our system and ensure that Baraza bounce back bigger, stronger and better by 19th of July, 2021.
“Let me assure members that while we’re working tirelessly towards recovery, we will not relent in unmasking and weeding out the syndicates poised to sabotage the liberation effort of Baraza members,” he said.
While assuring that in no distant time all backlogs will be cleared, the Baraza boss disclosed that about 40 members have so far graciously applied to withdraw their termination and agreed to wait till the expiration of the July 19, 2021 pause date.
Meanwhile, sources say about three staff of Baraza are now explaining to security agents in Yenagoa all they know about the humongous fraud in the cooperative.
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