12 suspects in GH¢326m UMB scam granted bail

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Twelve persons allegedly involved in the Universal Merchant Bank GH¢326million scam have been granted bail by an Accra Circuit Court.

The accused are said to have between July 22 and 23 this year, transferred over one million cedis of the amount into 18 separate bank accounts which they had created with the bank.

They are alleged to have succeeded in withdrawing GH¢278,000 out of the huge amount using visa cards and mobile money accounts.

Appearing before the court presided over by Mrs Janet Akweley Quaye for the second time, the accused were admitted to GH¢400 million bail each with four sureties, one of the sureties is to be justified.

The accused, some of whom are foreigners have been ordered by the court to deposit their passports or any form of Identity Cards card with the court’s Registry.

The 12 accused persons have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime to wit stealing.

They are to reappear on August 28.

The accused are believed to be part of a wide network of cyber-crime syndicate comprising Ghanaians and Nigerians.

Their activities were detected by the bank which blocked them and subsequently caused their arrest. Efforts are being made to apprehend five more of them who are currently at large.

The bank had detected that all the accounts that the monies were credited to were all single-purpose accounts opened purposely to receive the stolen money and UMB quickly flagged all the accounts.

Lawyers of the accused prayed the court for bail noting that the real perpetrators were on the run, and that the accused persons have not withdrawn a penny of the said amount stated.

The management of Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) last month issued a statement that it had successfully thwarted a cyber-attack on its systems by some miscreants, who attempted to hack into its systems.

It said the operation, which was done in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, led to the arrest of members of the syndicate who are currently in police custody assisting in further investigations.

 

Source: GNA

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