By Tata Mbunwe
Security officers are currently probing into a fraud case at an Express Exchange agency in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde.
A client, Ketu Jervis Monah claims he was dubbed of FCFA 668,000 ($1233.44) by an accountant at the Yaounde Rond Point branch of Express Exchange.
A fake National ID Card bearing Ketu’s name, but another person’s face, was used to collect the money. Ketu has told security officers that the accountant at the Express Exchange agency is the primary suspect because she had scanned his documents 20 minutes before the fraud would occur.
An attempt by state security forces to take the accountant for questioning failed after she reportedly escaped from arrest, according to Ketu Jervis.
Ketu Jervis Monah says his family friend sent FCFA 668,000 ($1233.44) to him from Canada on December 1, money which he was to use for a business transaction.
“Early on the 2nd of December 2020, I visited an Express Exchange agency located at Rond Point Express, Yaounde, to collect the money. After the cashier received my documents, she told me the amount could not be received with an identity card receipt so she requested me to go get my passport.
“I respectfully returned home and came back with my passport just for the agency to tell me that the transaction has been opened elsewhere and that they cannot process my transaction any longer. I was shocked because that was the first agency I visited and handed my documents to for processing. As such, I was asked to contact my sender who is known as Colday Nancy Nkenuy.
“So I contacted her to verify if she had communicated transaction details with anyone else apart from me and she said she had not done with anyone else but me. With my open-mindedness, I went to Wafacash agency located at Carrefour Obili and they responded that the transaction was already opened elsewhere in any agency and they could not process the transaction. So I called my sender to cancel the transaction, and she told me the money had been withdrawn using my name already.”
Ketu Jervis Monah says the Express Exchange agency did not pay attention to his complaint about the fraudulent transaction which was carried out in his name.
According to him, the fraudulent receiver had reproduced his identity card but with a different photograph and occupation written on it.
Suspicion of foul play
After being dubbed, Jervis reported the fraud to the police but the case was not being taken seriously, so he filed a complaint to the military investigation unit, SEMIL, on December 3.
The Express Exchange officials at Yaounde Rond Point Express, especially the Manager and the accountant, have been accused of foul play.
“When the boss came down and we started talking, he took my number and told me if he had any helpful information, he was going to share it with me. Few moments later, he called and told me the money was received in my name but not from his agency. He then sent me the details he had – it was the receipt of the transaction and fake identity card bearing my name with a different photo, date of birth, place of birth and profession.”
After realising Jervis could use this information to trace the fraudster, the bank manager tried deleting the information he had sent to him but it had already been forwarded to the police superintendent in charge of the case.
In order to trace the exact place where the money was fraudulently withdrawn, Jervis’ family friend was contacted.
“At 9 pm (December 3) my sender informed me that the money was picked up at Fona Tongolo Yaounde at 9:30 am on December 2nd, 2020. I then decided later that day to search Fona Tongolo on Google map and located it directly opposite Express Union Tongolo.
The following day, the uniform men from SEMIL took him (the manager) from his office to the Ministry of Defence for questioning where he explained that the money was cashed out from another branch of his agency at Atangna Mballa by Estelle who is the cashier of that branch.”
“We came back to pick her up few minutes before her closing time, but realised that she had long closed and escaped. As we were leaving the premises, an officer from the National Gendarmerie called me on phone, calling all my name, he said lady had complained against me saying I came to forcefully arrest her in her office.
So he asked me to explain myself which I did. Then I ended up by telling him that the cashier of Express Exchange is a thief because she did not keeep my details and she was able to give my telephone number alongside for the Gendarme Officer to call and threaten me.”
After picking up Borris Njipgang, manager of Fona Tongolo where the money was fraudulently withdrawn, the police proceeded to arrest the cashier of Express Exchange Round Point Express but she had escaped.
“The accountant of Express Exchange is the thief that masterminded and orchestrated the theft. She snapped my details and sent to another agency and branch where she didn’t think would be traced back to her but she was the only person who first took and saw my details alongside the transaction details,” said Ketu Jervis Monah.
Investigations by Mimi Mefo Info suggest that this is not an isolated case. The public expects that security forces should drag the perpetrators to book so others can be deterred. Meanwhile, our request for comments from Express Exchange Cameroon, is still pending.
(C) Mimi Mefo Info