Globus Bank Loses Customers’ N1.755bn to Hackers After USSD Glitch

June 12, 2023
Globus Bank Peter Amangbo Elias Igbinakenzua

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Some hackers have dealt a big blow to Globus Bank Limited by withdrawing customers’ funds worth N1.755 billion from the financial institution after it suffered a system glitch.

The lender, in an application before a high court in Lagos, explained that the hackers carried out the fraudulent transfers after its USSD channel witnessed a technical issue.

Already, the bank has recovered N817,998,969.85 from the accounts of the fraudsters but cannot take back N962,019,843.35 into accounts domiciled in eight commercial banks in the country.

To make this possible, the management of Globus Bank approached the court to recover the funds, which were part of those taken from 709 customers.

In its affidavit sworn to by its legal officer, Kosisochukwu Ngene, the bank informed the court that the unauthorised electronic transfer of the money was done between Monday, June 6 and Saturday, June 11, 2022.

The lender said after the suspects made the fraudulent withdrawals, it “immediately approached the Magistrate Court in the Yaba Magisterial District and obtained an order directing the banks to freeze and reverse the amount fraudulently transferred into various accounts domiciled in the banks.”

“In response to the order served on the respondents, some of the respondents were able to salvage certain sums wherein the total sum of N817,998,969.85 was returned to the bank while the total sum of N962,019,843.35 is still outstanding and yet to be returned to the bank by the respondents’ banks,” it added.

It, therefore, wants the court to direct “all the eight banks to immediately reverse and remit to, Globus Bank Limited the total sum of N962,019,843.35, being the outstanding sum yet to be salvaged from the fraudulent transfer into several accounts domiciled with the eight Respondents from the Globus bank 709 customers’ accounts, less depleted sum.”

The bank also wants, “An order directing the eight commercial banks to release all account information in respect of the destination accounts and the beneficiaries of the transfer funds.”

Globus Bank Limited is one of the kids on the bloc. It has Mr Peter Amangbo, the former GMD of Zenith Bank, as its chairman, and Mr Elias Igbinakenzua, a former executive director at Zenith Bank and Access Bank, as its chief executive.

The safety of the banking system in Nigeria has been put into question several times.

Recall that in 2018, a 28-year-old medical doctor turned hacker, Mr Michael Williams, claimed that financial institutions operating in the country have a porous online banking system.

“In Nigeria, you can sit and hack any account, but abroad, it is only through the Swiss account because the money is much.

“Nigerian banks don’t have professional hackers to secure them online. They are not secured so I can easily hack into their account.

“When you are online, you can do whatever you want to do. I don’t have an account because you can easily be caught, so I just do credit cards. You get an old credit card,” he told journalists when he was paraded by the police in Lagos.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.


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