Sneaky Chinese Businessmen Polar Standard Bank of R270m
Johannesburg – Financial services group and Africa’s largest lender by assets, Standard Bank South Africa (SBSA) has been hit by R70 million after four astute businessmen tapped into the online banking system. the bank to siphon money.
The bank pointed to Chinese nationals – Xinan Bao, Zhongyou Zhang, Guoyou Tang and Yufang Guo – as being behind the complex plan.
The four men run treasury and transport businesses in Gauteng and Rustenburg to the northwest.
The alleged fraud is said to have taken place since December 17, 2020, with the bulk of transactions executed between January 13 and January 26 of this year.
In an affidavit filed by Bilal Kajee of Standard Bank, a senior official in the fraud risk management department, the bank said the alleged perpetrators used a scam called “kite”.
“SBSA account holders [the four men and their 11 companies] inexplicably identified a 45-minute window on the [SBSA] system when different day and night transaction files are processed and when customer account balances reflect balances only considering transactions in day files, ”the affidavit read.
“From those eleven accounts, funds were then transferred between them to improve the balances from which the scam was terminated, but invariably they were then diverted to accounts held at the agent banks. [Absa, Nedbank and Capitec] cryptocurrency traders, in the latter because they are able to draw money from offshore cryptocurrency wallets. “
Kite flying is the fraudulent use of a financial instrument to obtain additional credit that is not authorized, according to Investopedia.
The scam encompasses two main types of fraud: issuing or modifying a check or bank draft for which insufficient funds are available, and distorting the value of a financial instrument in order to expand the credit obligations or increase financial leverage.
Kajee said the bank was running against time to get their money back.
She has now turned to the Johannesburg High Court to compel Absa, Nedbank and Capitec to cooperate with her to obtain information regarding the identity of the recipients of the “embezzled funds and the flow of funds” and the recovery of the funds.
The lender is mostly concerned about the four Bitcoin accounts / wallets the four men allegedly laundered the money on.
“From these wallets, the money can be laundered because it can be transferred to a foreign wallet and can be drawn abroad,” Kajee wrote.
“The applicant is not aware of any valuable assets that the SBSA account holders own… the individuals involved have ties to a foreign country and could easily embezzle the remaining funds and flee the country. The claimant is required to act quickly to try to get back whatever they can. Otherwise, he risks suffering an absolute and permanent loss. “
Ironically, China’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, bought a 20% stake in Standard Bank in 2007 for $ 5.5 billion. [R82-billion] representing the largest foreign direct investment in the country.
The transaction was also a Chinese bank’s largest investment outside of China at the time.
This is not the first time that Standard Bank’s systems have been breached. In 2016, the lender’s computer system was hacked in a R300 million ATM fraud in Japan.
At this point, it emerged that around 100 people allegedly used fake Standard Bank credit cards to withdraw 1.8 billion yen (over 250 million rand) from 1,400 ATMs in Tokyo and elsewhere. other parts of Japan in less than three hours.
SA’s Banking Risk Information Center, in its annual crime report for 2019, found that although unions orchestrate crimes involving theft / theft of cash, the changing digital landscape had given the emergence of cybercrime, which was increasing at an alarming rate. rate”.
Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom said the bank was investigating the case. “Standard Bank is investigating fraudulent activity perpetrated against it by a small number of business customers.
Standard Bank has been the victim of fraudulent activity. No customers were affected.
Standard Bank reported the matter to the relevant authorities.
As there is now an ongoing investigation into the matter, no further details can be provided, ”Linstrom said. The four businessmen did not respond to questions addressed to them.
To pursue @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To subscribe to Sunday World, Click here.