The Commissioner of Police, Anti-Fraud Unit, Federal Criminal Investigation Intelligence Department (FCIID) Ikoyi- Lagos, Mr Dan Okoro, on Thursday raised alarm over many cloned certificates and ATM cards in circulation. Okoro raised the alarm while briefing newsmen in Lagos on the discovery of some cloned certificates by syndicate, which specialised in printing fake documents of banks, government and corporate organisations.
He said that the syndicate had been using the cloned documents to defraud banks, government, corporate organisations and individuals, stressing that some bank officials were collaborating with the suspects for the crime. Among documents cloned by the syndicate included CBN, presidential clearance certificates, IMF and court documents. “I advise members of the public against cloned certificates, ATM card and other important documents currently in circulation. I want members of the public to keep their pin numbers, passwords and ATM safe.
“We have some documents recovered from one suspect arrested. We are investigating the documents and some bank staffers allegedly collaborating the syndicate. “It is only the bankers that have details of every deposit in the bank. Our investigation revealed that some bankers give information to the syndicate on how much customers have in every account. “The syndicate cloned documents and transferred such money to another account, particularly, accounts with ATM cards are their easiest target.
“Many crimes are going on in different banks, unfortunately, the bank management will not allow the public to know about it because they want to keep their customers trust,” he said. Okoro said the unit was able to detect some of the documents through the assistance of a foreign cyber security firm based in Lagos using forensic analysis equipment to unravel the identities of the syndicate members. He noted that cyber crime was a global challenge, stressing that the unit was synergising with the foreign firm for capacity building for officers and men in the unit.
The commissioner said the suspect arrested was currently in the hospital after he collapsed during search of his house and many incriminating materials, including hard drugs were discovered. “The suspect is a web site designer. He designed many of the cloned documents. We are on the trail of other members of the syndicate, “Okoro said.