ICPC arrests bank officials over ‘N258m new notes stashed in vault’

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arrested the officials of the Abuja head office of Sterling Bank over “N258 million” new notes “stashed” in the bank’s vault.


In a statement on Tuesday, the commission said the regional and service managers of the bank were arrested on Friday.


The ICPC, however, said the two managers have been granted administrative bail while the investigation continues.


“When the ICPC monitoring team visited the bank and discovered the stashed new Naira notes in the bank’s vault, it was informed that the cash was the remnant of what the CBN had given the bank for onward distribution to its branches,” the statement reads.


 “The team however found out that only the sum of Five Million Naira (N5m) each was distributed to their various branches.”


The commission also said several arrests were made in separate operations linked to the naira scarcity across the country.


In Nasarawa, the head of operations of Keystone Bank in Mararaba was arrested “for frustrating its customers at getting the new Naira notes”.


 “The ICPC team, while on its routine operation, found out that the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at the branch were not dispensing to its customers, while other bank customers were accessing only One Thousand Naira,” the statement reads.


“It was only after the arrest was made and clarification received from CBN that the position of the officers of the Bank was not correct, that the ATMs started dispensing Five Thousand Naira to non-customers and Ten Thousand Naira to its customers.”


In another development, the commission said its operatives arrested one Abdulkareem Shaibu, a security guard with the Zenith Bank branch located at the third avenue in Gwarimpa, Abuja, for possessing five ATM cards.


Shaibu was said to have used the ATM cards to withdraw cash for persons who were not within the bank premises at that time.


Two other suspects, identified as Adam and Umar, were also reportedly arrested in front of the Zenith Bank branch at the first avenue area of Gwarimpa for selling the new naira notes.


“In another development, two officials of FCMB Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo have been taken into custody for assault of officers of ICPC and CBN Cash Swap Monitoring Team,” the ICPC added.


“Recall that it was reported last week that the said branch was caught twice for loading wrapped bank notes inside its ATMs.


“The team, on a follow-up visit to ascertain the bank’s compliance level, was assaulted right inside the Branch Manager’s office by the bank officials who vehemently refused to allow ICPC carry out its lawful duty, and then held hostage for about two hours.


 “By the time the reinforcement of Police and NSCDC officers arrived at the scene of the incident, the masterminds of the assaults had gone into hiding, leading to the arrest of two bank officers who were also complicit.” 

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