By Juliana FrancisEconomic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said its Ibadan Zonal Office was investigating cases of conspiracy and stealing involving the use of Garnishee Orders targeted at high net worth bank accounts with low or no activities.
The investigation, according to the Zonal Office Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Ayo Oyewole, is sequel to a series of complaints from some banks on the increase in the inflow of such court orders on a number of dormant accounts. He said: “Three of such cases, where attempts were made to steal N32,219,975.64 are receiving the attention of the operatives of the commission to unravel the brains behind this new spate of crimes.
“An Ibadan based legal practitioner (names withheld) has been arrested and is still being quizzed in connection with an attempt to procure such phony court orders.”
Oyewole said investigations had revealed that one of the modes of operation was that two individuals would approach the court to decide on alleged case of breach of contract, having at their disposal insider information on the inactive bank account with high net worth.
He added: “A third party purported to be the owner of the targeted dormant account would be joined in the matter as being responsible for the failed transaction.
“Having secured a judgement on the phony case of breach of contract, one of the parties would present a prayer before the court for a Garnishee action against the dormant account.”
The bank, according to him, is by the order then compelled to affect a transfer of funds from the account without the knowledge of the original owner of the account. He added: “It is imperative that bank officials become wary of how Garnishee Order on any account is processed and obtained and take necessary action to protect their customers.”