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Cheque fraud increased by 2.5% in 2019, says BoG

According to the Bank of Ghana’s 2019 banking industry fraud report, the business reported that transactions worth roughly GHC115.5 million involved fraud

The number of cheque fraud cases increased marginally by 2.56% from 39 cases in 2018 to 40 cases in 2019, according to the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

This is one of the findings of the BoG’s 2019 banking industry fraud report.

The cases include cheque cloning, which originates from the operation of syndicates involving staff of financial institutions, telecommunications companies and cheque-printing houses.

In all, approximately GHC115.52 million was reported to the BoG by the banking industry as fraud. The BoG adds that about GHC33.44 million was reported as incurred and approximately GHC82.06 million was recovered.

Meanwhile, 2,295 cases of fraud were reported by the central bank last year, a 5.4% increase in the number of cases reported in 2018.

Staff collusion 

Fraud cases reported by financial institutions regarding manipulation of accounts and negotiable instruments resulted in attempted fraud values of approximately GHC38.81 million, of which GHC33.06 million was recovered and GHC5.75 million was lost.

The report says over 80% of perpetrators for all cases reported involving manipulation of accounts and negotiable instruments were staff of the financial institutions.

The staff in question mostly manipulated the internal accounts and dormant salary accounts of customers.

Suppression of cash

The report also says that the majority of fraud cases reported to the central bank centred on suppression of cash and deposits. It notes that roughly 94% of the fraud cases reported as suppression of cash were perpetrated by staff of the financial institutions.

“Similar to the year 2018, in 2019 suppression of cash and deposits accounted for the largest portion of the total number of fraud cases reported to the Bank of Ghana.

“The alarming rate of involvement of bank staff in the perpetration of fraud in the banking sector calls for significant reforms in the engagement, remuneration and disengagement processes of employees and contractual staff of financial institutions,” the report adds.

E A Alanore

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