Bank in­ves­ti­gates fraud al­le­ga­tion

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN Edited by Ne­mani De­laibatiki Feed­back: arishma.narayana@ fi­jisun.com.fj

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?”

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