Banking Sector lost Over 1.9 Billion birr to Fraud in Four-Year

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Banking industry has suffered more than 1.9 billion in fraud losses in the past four years, a ministry of Justice survey report revealed.

The report was a subject of discussion among officials of the banking industry, the ministry of Justice, and other offices working in the sector on Monday.

Fikadu Tsega, State Minister of Justice, said several activities have been carried out to prevent bank fraud and uphold the rule of law.

The crimes are found to be complex in nature, making criminals face justice and retrieving the stolen money very difficult, he said.

The investigation tried to find the major culprits of the crimes, and trends of the banking fraud.

Officials and employees of banks were found to be highly involved in fraud crimes, followed by former employees, according to the state minister.

They often carry out frauds along with foreign-based agents that provide the technological support to hide the trace of the scams, he added.

Ethio telecom and Document Authentications & Registration Agency (DARA) were also the main accomplices to the crimes.

As a result of their frauds, a survey into at least 155 cases found that the banks have lost more than 1.9 billion birr in the past four years, said Tsega, adding the most common scams utilized counterfeit banking documents.

Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia Yinager Dessie said banks have been putting in place measures to prevent fraud.

In the face of increasingly sophisticated fraud crimes, he said the financial institutions need to continue to take further actions, urging them to take note of the findings of the latest survey.

Banks need to invest in new technologies, work on one employee’s ethics, enhance overall customer protection, and document authentication mechanisms to prevent the crime from becoming an even greater risk to the sector, the central bank governor said.