Six persons have been arrested in connection with the hacking of a universal bank in Accra, which led to the illegal transfer of ¢46 million into accounts of eight persons in different banks.
The Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service arrested a former banker and owner of Adom Sika Savings and Loans Limited, Sam Acquah, and a web developer, James Taylor, believed to be the masterminds of the cybercrime.
The others — Hudu Abdul Mumuni, Emmanuel Adams, Moro Issah and Agbenu Febous Chrissy — were picked up when they showed up at various banks to withdraw the money transferred into their accounts through the illegal wire transaction.
Two other suspects said to be part of the syndicate, who have been identified only as Boateng Mends and Pussy Cat, are on the run.
The cyber hackers allegedly logged into the banking software of the bank remotely and used the login credentials of some members of staff of the bank, some of whom were on leave, to effect the illegal transfers. Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Director of the Cyber Crime Unit of the CID, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Gustav Herbert Yankson, said on July 2, this year, the unit received a complaint about the fraudulent wire transfer and immediately alerted the banks where the money had been transferred to prevent withdrawals.
The management of the bank, on detecting the fraud, also disabled the SWIFT server immediately to prevent further transfers, after which the banks involved were alerted to prevent withdrawals.
He said investigations launched into the incident showed that 13 fake SWIFT transactions were fraudulently made, with the money transferred to the bank accounts of eight individuals in different banks between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. on July 2, this year. ACP Dr Yankson said four men showed up at different banks to withdraw the amount that had been wired into their accounts illegally.
He said Mumuni was arrested at a bank at Ridge, while Adams was arrested at the Madina branch of another bank, with Issah and Chrissy getting arrested at a bank branch at Dansoman, all in Accra.
Later, the police, through their investigations, arrested Acquah and Taylor. He said the Cyber Crime Unit had since taken the server log-in details, which were being analysed as part of investigations, while devices retrieved from the suspects were being taken through forensic examination.
He said efforts were underway to arrest the two suspected members of the syndicate, and that those arrested were being prepared for court.