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CBE loses 27 mln birr to inside fraud

A total of 11 employees working for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) Northern Addis Ababa District, in the Berhan ena Selam Branch, have been implicated in a fraud case involving 27.8 million birr which they have withdrawn from various accounts and transferred to a dummy company and account number.

The total sum of 27.8 million was withdrawn from various governmental agencies that are customers of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and was deposited to another account—10001521550078—an account owned by a dummy company called Wukella PLC.

ActuallyWukella PLCthe company behind the phony bank account—does not exist altogether. The group, however, managed to present forged documents which include forged trade license, trade registration certificate, taxpayer registration certificate, article of association and bylaws.

The elaborate plot then continued to transfer huge sums of money to the phony account number just like what would happen with formal payment and money transfer from one account to another.

 According to the preliminary investigation, the millions transferred into the phony bank account was then carefully withdrawn under different names and was deposited under different bank accounts in various banks in Addis Ababa. 

The group carefully spread the money across a number of private and state-owned banks including Dashen, Wegagen, Nib International, Awash International and other banks.

Up on establishing reasonable doubts that the 11 employees were connected to the suspected fraudulent activity, CBE has passed over the names and the documents to the Federal Ethics and Anticorruption Commission (FEACC) to investigate.

The commission in turn passed the file over to the Federal Police to be pursued.                 

Thus far, only few in the 11-man group have been apprehended. However, the investigation team has managed to obtain an injection order to freeze the various bank accounts in private and state-owned banks which are believed to be affiliated with the suspects.

The investigators have also requested the court to grant them 14 day extension to compete their investigation which the court responded to favorably.