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Beware! Fraudsters Shop Abroad with Cloned Nigerian ATM Cards

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Facts emerged on Tuesday that electronic fraudsters had been duplicating Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards belonging to Nigerian bank customers and using them to buy items worth millions of dollars from shopping malls in the United States.

Punch newspaper said that top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that the development had made Nigerian banks and their customers to be losing millions of naira to the e-fraud.

The development, it was learnt, had become so overwhelming and that top executives of the banks and senior officials of the CBN had to meet with a team of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives led by the director of operations in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to sources close to the meeting, the banks are seeking the assistance of the anti-graft agency to help in arresting some of the fraudsters who are using the duplicated ATM cards in the US.

From the outcome of the meeting, the EFCC is set to collaborate with a sister agency in the US in order to effect the arrest of some of the electronic fraudsters.

The source disclosed, “Banks have been losing a lot of money to electronic fraudster cartels who are using customers’ ATM cards to fraudulently buy items across shopping malls in the US.

“Normally, customers should bear the loss but because banks don’t want the issue to come to the public so that the use of ATM cards will not be discouraged, they settle those customers by paying the money.”

Asked how the Nigerian ATM cards are being duplicated and used in the US, a source close to the development explained, “In Nigeria, we use chip and PIN, but the US still uses magnetic stripe. So, what those fraudsters do is to get the details of a customers’ ATM card, duplicate it and then go to shopping malls and start using it to buy items.

“When they are using the PoS in US shopping malls, all they do is to swipe the card and then payment is made. They don’t need to put any PIN. Through these, items are bought using Nigerian ATM cards.”

According to Punch, an EFCC source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, confirmed the meeting and noted the anti-graft agency was set to work with the US government to arrest the fraudsters.

A top official in one of the top banks said the incidence of electronic frauds had been on the increase and the development was a source of worry to bank executives.

It was learnt that most of the frauds were being perpetrated in connivance with some bank officials.

The official recalled that prior to 2010 when Nigerian banks were still using magnetic stripe for ATM cards; the issue of using Nigerian ATM cards fraudulently abroad was prevalent.

However, when the banking sector migrated to the chip and PIN system, the problem stopped.

“However, the frauds have started again now in a new form of Nigerian ATM cards being duplicated and used abroad. The incidence is becoming very high now and something has to be done urgently to arrest the trend,” the banker added.

Analysts have said that the increasing incidence of electronic frauds may affect the growth of the cash-less Nigeria initiative.

Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, deputy governor, Corporate Services, CBN, recently said at a conference that the incidence of fraud involving bank officials had been on the increase.

Adelabu, who is a former Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria, linked the increasing frauds in the banking sector to several issues, including the banks’ poor recruitment procedures and failure to prosecute workers involved in fraudulent activities for fear of reputational risk.

Mr. Abolade Agbola, chairman, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Lagos branch, linked the high incidence of electronic frauds to lack of integrity and poor staff conditions in the banking sector.

“When you see the fraud that happens and the trillions of transactions that take place daily, then I think the banks have to take the technology ahead, take the staffing ahead and then create a future for the members of staff so that they can know that they have a future in the organisations and that they can build a future,” he said.


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E-Financial

Nigerian Manufacturing Sector Contracts for 5th Consecutive Month – CBN

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The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in September stood at 46.9 index points, indicating a contraction in the Nigerian manufacturing sector for the fifth month.

This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its September PMI report released last week.

According to the report, four out of the 14 sub-sectors surveyed reported expansion (above the 50 per cent threshold) in September.

It listed the expansion order as electrical equipment; transportation equipment; cement and nonmetallic mineral products.

It said the remaining sub-sectors reported contractions in the following order: petroleum & coal products; primary metal; furniture & related products; printing & related support activities; food, beverage & tobacco products; textile, apparel, leather & footwear; chemical & pharmaceutical products; fabricated metal products and plastics & rubber products; while the paper product sub-sector was stable.

Production

At 47.3 points, the production level index for the manufacturing sector indicated contraction in September for the fifth consecutive month.

Of the 14 sub-sectors surveyed, five recorded increased production level, one reported same level of production, while eight recorded declines in production.

New Orders

At 46.4 points, the new orders index also contracted in September for the fifth consecutive month. Six sub-sectors reported expansion in new orders, while the remaining eight recorded contraction in the month.

Supplier Delivery Time

The manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 53.5 points in the month, indicating a faster supplier delivery time for the fifth time.

Six of the 14 sub-sectors recorded improved suppliers’ delivery time, five reported same level, while three recorded slower delivery time

Employment Level

The employment level index stood at 44.1 points, indicating contraction in employment level for the sixth consecutive month.

Of the 14 sub-sectors, two recorded growth in employment, three recorded same level of employment, while the remaining nine recorded lower employment level in the review month.

Raw material Inventories

The manufacturing sector inventories index also contracted for the sixth consecutive time in September to 43.0 points. Four of the 14 sub-sectors recorded growth in inventories, while the remaining 10 recorded lower raw material inventories.


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FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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