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EFCC Arraigns Hackers Over FCMB N900m Heist

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned seven men in connection with an alleged theft of nine hundred million naira from First City Monument Bank PLC (FCMB) through an online intrusion attack, according to transcripts from an Ikeja Special Offenses Court, Lagos.

The men allegedly surreptitiously installed spying software on the bank’s computer giving them access to breach the bank’s security systems. They were then allegedly able to transfer large sums to third-party accounts.

The EFCC has arraigned seven suspects in respect with the alleged theft. They are: Gideon Oluwatimileyin, Abiodun Aina, Samuel Adenitiri, Oluwasegu Daliu, Olaitan Ajibola Sheu, Moyosore Suleiman and Adeyinka Akinjin.

According to Benedict Chima Benneth, EFCC’s lawyer, the defendants allegedly committed the offence on March 10, 2018 in Lagos.

They were arraigned by the anti-graft agency on a two-count charge of conspiracy to defraud and unauthorized access to FCMB’s computer materials and software.

All the accused persons alongside Osita Martins, Daramola Samuel Akanji and others still at large sought, did steal by unauthorized transfers and withdrawals from various FCMB points nationwide of the sum of N900 million, property of the owners of and various customers of FCMB from their account to various accounts outside the bank via POS and ATM.

“The defendants did effect unauthorized modifications, alterations, and adjustment of the bank computer data program by increasing the transaction withdrawal limits and transaction counts of the victim, customers’ accounts as programmed by the bank, that enabled you make withdrawals and transfers from various FCMB points nationwide. The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the count charges.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, granted bail to the first, second and third accused persons following a bail application from their lawyers.

They were granted a-N20 million bail bond with two sureties in like sum.

However, the bank in an emailed statement to Lagos Times newspaper, FCMB spokesperson Rafiu Mohammed said that the media reports were untrue and misleading and that “there was no hack into FCMB’s systems”.

While Mr Mohammed admitted that there was a password security breach in 2018 that led to theft of large sums from the bank, he said that it was “duly addressed, with recoveries made and those involved reported to appropriate authorities for prosecution.”

Mr Mohammed declined to say if all the stolen funds were recovered by the bank.

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