Nigerians lose N20m monthly to POS robberies as banks/police look on
Findings have revealed that bank customers in Nigeria lose at least N20 million monthly to robbers and other criminals using the point of sales (POS) devices.
This is coming in spite of a policy by the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) that banks whose network is used for such act will be sanctioned.
Police sources said there has been an increase in cases of victims of robbery and other malpractices through the use of the device, which recorded a minimum of 25 reported cases monthly, with several others unreported since 2015.
Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Aba, Warri and Abuja are known as the “hot spots” for such crime.
Cases of people falling victims to robbery, with POS in use, have become more rampant between 2015 and 2017, but without any bank assisting victims to recover their stolen funds.
Police have also not prosecuted any culprit or banks in Nigeria whose network is used by fraudsters to transfer funds from victims’ accounts, aided by the portable device.
Members of the public have complained of often being held hostage by armed robbers, who force them to transfer cash from their personal accounts, with the automatrd teller machine (ATM) and via POS.
Even police have confirmed that there had been an increased number of reported cases of victims of forced transfer of cash, which banks claim they could not trace to any known account holder.
But Lagos Police command spokesman, Badmus Opeyemi, confirmed that of several financial crime cases reported, none is left uninvestigated.
He said Lagos as a vast metropolitan city state has its own peculiar nature of crimes, including fraud and armed robbery.
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“But we seek cooperation of the banks in getting to their roots.
“I cannot give exact figure of fraud specifically carried out through POS, but it is big enough,” he stated.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of robbers recently, a senior staff of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), name withheld, said he boarded a commercial bus to Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, from Ipaja for an early-hour flight to Abuja, and that unknown to him, the occupants of the bus were armed robbers.
“They held me hostage for a while, rough handled me before eventually bringing out their POS device. I was forced to insert my ATM card and my PIN number. Thereafter they transfered all the money in my account into theirs before pushing me out of the bus.
“When I regained consciousness, a passer-bye picked me to the nearest police station where I lodged the complaint.
“But they said I was the 20th victim of the same incident, within the same week, declaring that they could not do anything since there was no record of the bus number or any documentary evidence of what I complained of,” he said.
But attempts to get any of the banks to speak on the issue failed as they said most victims of such crimes hardly come to lodge complaints with any evidence.
But the CBN spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, said there is a standard rule on any bank that links POS to its network.
He said customer’s profile is supposed to be with the issuing bank of POS and should from time to time update all transactions executed through the device to enable them check cases of money laundering.
“The POS are for corporate organisations, or individuals whose type of businesses are known by law.
“However, banks are still held accountable for any abuse that is reported in the system, as CBN has its rules guiding all on-line banking services at both paying and receiving ends,” Okoroafor said.
From the look of things, neither the banks nor the security agencies has perfected plans to put a check on this new approach to financial crime.
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June 28, 2017 at 7:53 am
This is a collaboration between the banks and the thieves! How can the banks say they don’t have transfer records done on individual’s accounts and the accounts the monies were sent to? If that’s the case, it means our monies are not even safe in the banks! This isn’t heartbreaking
June 28, 2017 at 8:06 am
I’m still finding it so hard to believe the banks don’t know how to locate the POS operators using it for theft. The banks can go to any length to protect their clients doing illegal business provided they pay the banks their own commissions. CBN needs better policies to strengthen the security of the use of POS
June 28, 2017 at 8:03 am
Absolutely nothing is safe in Nigeria that we are, our lives and properties are going through risk everyday and the government isn’t doing anything to protect them. How can the useless CBN approve the use of POS when the banks cannot track its records? They must be very crazy! That means anyone one can get the POS, rob with it and go freely without any traces.
June 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm
Our security system is porous but with a matter of time under Baba Buhari regime, most of these will be halted
June 28, 2017 at 8:54 am
This is why I don’t use pos for any transaction except in a trusted places like shoprite and spar. Using pos in igbo shops, then you are on your own
June 28, 2017 at 9:43 am
What tribe are you from? Because you have controversial comments on this platform
Oparah Jasper Chikwendu
June 28, 2017 at 8:38 pm
Something is really wrong with you for your mind you have money to spend in shoprite. Abi you dey go oshodi