Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How ex-banker made millions from stealing Sh1 daily from clients’ accounts

The saying ”Greed makes a man blind, foolish and an easy prey for death’’ rings true to George Juma, a once affluent former banker who is now languishing in poverty behind prison cells.

In an explicable narration on Inooro TV Njeraini Citu (Inside The Prisons) show, Juma explained how he built his banking career for years after graduating from Kabarak University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Commerce.

Instantly after graduating, he secured his first job at a local bank, which a year later offered him a scholarship to pursue a second degree in Economics and Statistics in Massachusetts, US, for his good service.

His stay in the US was, however, cut short by increased racism, which forced him to fly back to the country, where he continued working for his former employer.

An opportunity presented itself in another local bank, which he promptly grabbed, climbing the ladder to become the bank’s supervisor.

In this role, he knew which accounts had plenty of activity, which ones had plenty of money, and, most importantly, which accounts were not monitored regularly.

During the time, Juma’s monthly salary was Sh153,000, which would sustain him comfortably, considering his wife was also a banker with a good income.

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However, his excellent service in the banking sector took a different turn after his corrupt bosses introduced him to bank fraud in a syndicate dubbed ‘External Forces.’

They were a team of 11, including IT gurus. With his knowledge and skills, he helped them get away with their fraudulent schemes, which often involved forgery.

“They told me that whatever I was being paid was peanuts to them, as they could show me how to make lots of money. I was consumed in their trap and began following their lead. With my experience, skill and position, I was able to do a lot of run forgeries successfully,” Juma recalled.

He noted that in the first fraud execution, he got away with Sh17 million before making another Sh11 million.

“Clients were losing as little as Ksh1 daily and they couldn’t tell the difference. We were a team of 11 people. We carried out the forgery transactions for a whole year, so you can imagine the millions we made if we took Ksh1 or Ksh10 daily from all those clients” he added.

He mainly targeted accounts belonging to foreigners who had set up accounts locally. As per his narration, such accounts would frequently deposit money and take long, sometimes up to three years, before making any withdrawal.

Juma would then wire the money from the client’s accounts to an untraceable account before erasing all transaction links from his end.

Making easy millions soon became a lifestyle, as by the time the bank noticed their scam a year later, they had made fortunes.

The bank’s investigations led to his arrest after three transactions he had performed were traced back to him. The transactions involved cheques (signatures) that were used as evidence.

Juma later confessed to the fraudulent activities and was sentenced to prison on three accounts of forgery-related crimes.

“Even today, bankers are stealing clients’ money using complex systems. If you withdraw money today and withdraw again tomorrow, you might notice very slight discrepancies between the two transcripts,” he said.

Regretting his actions, he advised those in employment, particularly those in the banking sector, not to fall into greed and temptations.

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