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Ethiopia’s state bank released pictures of clients who fail to return misappropriated money 

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia yet to collect hundreds of millions of birr

Bank _ Ethiopian News
CBE / File


Toronto – Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) released the images of clients who allegedly took advantage of what was described as “system glitch” to withdraw or transfer the money they did not have in their account. 

Before releasing their pictures it released a warning to return the money to the nearest branch or through digital payment options it made available. Their names were released last week after implicated clients failed to heed to the fall. 

The release of the picture is the last measure in the series of actions that the bank announced a few weeks ago. The law enforcement will pursue the alleged “suspects” whose pictures are released. Apart from disclosing their identities, the bank has been warning that it will sue clients who fail to return the money. 

While there were reports indicating that Bank had lost an estimated 5 to 10 billion birr from over 490,000 online and ATM transactions during the hours the Bank was experiencing “systemic glitch” on March 16.  However, the Bank said only 800.1 million birr was lost from the same amount of transactions. 

It has announced that it has recovered over 620 million birr. However, it has admitted that there are still clients who have not partially or fully returned the money they took. 

The bank has announced that it was university students who were mostly involved in the transfer or withdrawal of money they do not have in their account. 

The Bank has been making assertions that there was no cyber attack from external entities. It said the problem was created in the process of “improving” the bank’s mobile banking system. Ethiopia’s Information Network Service Administration (INSA) – the country’s cyber security agency has confirmed that there was no external cyber attack and attributed the problem to “disordered code.” 

Some legal experts seem to be criticizing CBE’s action in releasing the pictures of individuals.


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