Kampala, Uganda | URN | Three dfcu bank officials have appeared at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) in connection to the theft of unspecified amount of money among customers’ deposits.
CID spokesperson, Charles Twine confirmed that the three officials whose names he didn’t disclose were indeed interrogated on Tuesday following an official complaint lodged by the the bank’s top management.
“The dfcu case was formally reported here and investigations are ongoing. Some three people were picked, interrogated and released on bond. Because this is a crime that was committed electronically,” Twine said.
Although Twine declined to reveal how much money was stolen, media reports put the figure at Shs 8 billion. He also said detectives and their cyber crime team have already picked the computer logs and are analyzing them to establish how the fraudulent transactions were done.
Police said some of the suspects in the crime are not workers of the bank and are actually outside the country.
“They were within the bank and others outside. They gave in their story but with electronic offences we don’t rely on stories. There are people we’re vigorously looking for and one of them is outside the country. We shall use the normal process to trace for him and bring him back,” Twine said.
Police urged dfcu bank customers to be patient because steps are being taken to ensure culprits are brought to book. Twine applauded the dfcu top management for informing CID in time to conduct investigations.
In a brief statement, dfcu said “The Bank wishes to clarify that in May 2019, the Bank detected a case of fraud that was immediately reported to the police (CID HDQTRS GEF 604/2019) and investigations are ongoing.
Unfortunately, reports of this incident have been grossly and maliciously misrepresented in an attempt to damage the reputation of the Bank, destabilise the banking sector and the economy in general.”
Earlier this year in February, there was an attempted robbery at dfcu bank, Bwaise branch along Apollo Kaggwa road in Kampala when four unidentified men armed with an AK-47 rifle stormed the bank premises at around 7:00pm as the bank was closing.
They reportedly ordered the three bank employees who were winding up the day’s business to lead them to the safe where cash is kept. They assaulted the trio, demanding for the keys of the safe in vain. One female staff was reportedly raped.
After failing to compel the employees to handover the key, the thugs reportedly tried to cut the safe without success. They left the bank around 10:20pm. Before leaving the bank, the thugs stormed the CCTV control room and disconnected the cameras. They made off with the monitor and Central Processing Unit (CPU) used to store CCTV footage.
In 2018, CID registered 198 cases of electronic fraud resulting into the loss of Shs 610 million. 142 cases are still under inquiry; only sixteen have been taken to court and six secured convictions.
There has been a reported increase in cases of electronic fraud in commercial banks across the continent in Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya in the last 2-3 years. However, the banks usually do not want these reports of loss of customer deposits to get into the public domain for fears of losing customer confidence.