• Friday, February 23, 2024
businessday logo


Fight against e-fraud gets legal backing


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as the banking industry, now has legal backing that will assist in the fight against electronic fraud (e-fraud) and related offences.

The Cyber Crime Act, which was signed into law in May 2015, provides an effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of cyber crimes in Nigeria.

The first half year 2015 statistics from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) revealed that 1544 fraud cases were reported with an attempted value of N1.34 billion, and actual loss value of N654.4 million.

Specifically, looking at e-frauds on ATM, e-commerce, internet banking, mobile, PoS and web, a total of N925.7 million was attempted.

“This Cyber Crime Prohibition Act that was enacted and sign into law this year is actually a very strong force that will help us at the forum in combating electronic fraud in the sense that so many things that were not criminalise in the past have now become criminal offenses,” Dipo Fatokun, director, banking and payments system department, CBN, said at the Nigeria e-Fraud Forum (NeFF) meeting held in Lagos.

The reason for the gathering is to educate stakeholders first and subsequently pass the information to the public to give warning to those who may have criminal intensions as far as e-payment platform is concerned, he said.

According to him, banks are collaborating to ensure e-fraud is reduced to barest minimum. Also, the consumer protection education and sensitisation programmes help in advising the public on what they need to know and to avoid being victims of fraudsters.

“We have enough procedure in place. For example, if anyone is dismissed from the bank because of fraud the name such person will be sent to the banking supervision department of the CBN where a database is maintained and such a person is blacklisted. By being blacklisted means such a person cannot work in the banking industry,” he said.

Speaking at the forum, Muhammad Islam, managing director, Jaiz Bank, urged banks to increase collaboration with regulators, law enforcement and law making bodies with the goal of strengthening the legal framework and promoting situational awareness to the general public.

“Law enforcement agencies must in turn develop increased expertise in dealing with cyber crime, including operations across national borders. In particular, the development of a ‘cyber-Interpol’ to pursue criminals across geo-political borders would contribute greatly to the fight against cyber crime,” he said.