GCB duped GH¢3 million; Security man, bank employee arrested

A private security man has been arrested for allegedly duplicating the key of an automated teller machine (ATM) of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) and stolen more than  GH¢3 million belonging to the bank.

Also arrested is an employee of the GCB, whose name was given as only Dawohoso, the official responsible for putting money into the ATM.

He has been granted police enquiry bail.

The security man, Osei Baafo Owusu, who was attached to the Market Circle branch of the GCB in Takoradi, is said to have stolen the money between October 2012 and February 2013 without being found out.

His lavish lifestyle, however, gave him out.

Owusu, 29, an employee of Thomas Security, was put before the Takoradi Circuit Court B last Friday and remanded in police custody to reappear on Friday, May 10.

According to the police, the suspect allegedly confessed to the crime after he had been arrested by the Takoradi District Police Command.

They said Owusu claimed to have used the money to buy eight vehicles for commercial purposes and fund private engagements.

Giving further details on how the crime was committed, the police told the Daily Graphic that the suspect took advantage of his assignments at the bank to duplicate the key.

Owusu is said to have broken the electronic code system to gain access to the ATM and the cash.

The suspect, according to the police, told them that he only duplicated the key to the ATM door but that a second door to the ATM was never locked.

He also claimed that after the close of the day’s business, the keys to the banking hall were left with the security on duty to be lodged with the police and that made it easy for him to operate when he was on night duty.

The police said according to the suspect, private security personnel were allowed access to the banking hall at night and that he operated only after everybody had closed and left.

According to him, he usually entered the banking hall and opened the door to the ATM without being detected, since the closed circuit camera did not cover the entire hall.

An official of the bank told the Daily Graphic that the bank observed irregularities in the functioning of the ATM and was puzzled as to how the amount loaded in the machine could reduce that much, particularly so as the transactions recorded by the machine did not reflect the reduction.

He said the ATM system allowed for a standard card holder to withdraw between GHc800 and GHc1,500 and a gold Master card holder to withdraw up to GHc3,000.

The official said it, therefore, did not make sense that bigger sums than were permissible were being recorded and, worse still, the deductions were not debited to any known account.

According to him, it was also observed that private security personnel at the banking hall were engaged in other activities, instead of focusing on their core duties of providing security.

 “They handle things, load cash in the cassette sometimes, count bulk cash and help customers fill their pay-in or withdrawal forms which are not the job of the security in the hall,” he said.

Story: Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu

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