Man carrying 656 ATM cards arrested by NIB

A man carrying 656 ATM cards has been arrested by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) at the Kotoka International Airport.

Bachir Musa Aminou, 42, claims to be a Nigerian but is said to have been travelling with a Nigerien passport. The cards were hidden in a black plastic bag which also contained kola.

Aminou was heading to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on September 12, 2021.

He had arrived in Ghana on August 20, 2021, on transit to Dubai. He is also said to have previously left Accra for Dubai on May 26, last year.

The ATM cards found on Aminou are reportedly connected to a local bank and eight Nigerian-owned banks in Ghana.

During interrogation, he claimed that 132 of the cards were his that he collected them from his extended family for his business.

The rest of the cards, according to Aminou, belonged to his business partners in Dubai.

He claimed to be a businessman who plied his trade in the UAE, China, Nigeria and Ghana and denied any links to fraudulent activities.

The cards were to be submitted to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Monday, September  for further investigations.

Aminou also had in his possession $12,000 and a list of the various PIN numbers of some of the ATM cards.

ATM fraud has been a major challenge for the financial sector.

According to a BoG fraud report, ATM/POS related fraud accounted for 32.2 per cent of total fraud loss in the banking sector in 2020.

It recorded the highest lost value of GH¢8.19 million in 2020, compared to GH¢1.26 million recorded in 2019, representing a 548.1 per cent increase in year-on-year terms.

ATM card fraud recorded for 2020 mainly involved the fraudulent appropriation and use of customer card details for online shopping and unauthorised debits and transfers from victims’ accounts through electronic banking.

Other instances include incidents where culprits steal victims’ cards and use them to make withdrawals from ATM machines.

According to the report, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced bank customers to use alternative channels for payments and bank services.

It stated that poor personal safety perception and inadequate customer sensitisation by banking institutions might be the cause of the increase in the ATM/POS fraud type.

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