Bank investigates fraud allegation
There could be more to what a Nadi businessman, Dinesh Chand, claims as fraud, after two unauthorised bank withdrawals from his account, according to a Westpac Pacific spokesperson. The spokesperson said from Sydney, Australia: “I am aware of the claim and know it is under investigation. “However, we would like you to know that this person’s name is already known to our financial crime branch. But we are going through a formal procedure to investigate this.” Brett Hooker, general manager of Westpac Fiji, said he could not comment on matters that were with the Police, nor on individual customer’s circumstances or details. “Westpac is committed to protecting our customers’ money and their personal information, and to fighting back against fraud. “Any suspected fraudulent activity should be reported to Westpac and to the Police immediately. We work closely with authorities to investigate claims of fraud,” Mr Hooker said. Mr Chand claimed a fraudster had made two unauthorised bank withdrawals from his account. The owner of 3Ds Internet Café in Nadi town, claimed he lost $20,000 in two withdrawals on the last day of August. He said he was in the United States when it happened. He discovered it when he was doing internet banking. “On August 31, I was using my internet banking and I saw a huge sum missing from my account. I then called my shop manager, who does banking, to go and instantly check the issue and make a Police report. The two withdrawals, first $15,000, and second $5000 were made in Ba and Lautoka,” Mr Chand said.
Mr Chand arrived on Monday to help Police in the investigation. He said he approached the bank and was told that a third party (the person who withdrew the amount) had given them a letter of authorisation which they claimed was signed by Mr Chand before a Nadi lawyer dated October 5, 2015. “Even though I was in the country at that time, I have never made an agreement of any sort and I haven’t signed any paper before a lawyer. Worse, I do not know the person and the lawyer.”
He stated that the bank policy was clear that they will not allow any third party to make withdrawals from anyone’s account. “So then how did this happen?”