January 11, 2021
By Alusine Sesay
Several newspaper outlets have fallen prey to some fraudulent activities taking place within the precinct of Skye Bank under the watch of the management of the bank.
While other banks are maintaining high ethical standards in terms of banking procedures, Skye Bank is neck-deep into encouraging fraudsters that are bent on defrauding newspaper outlets of their meagre resources.
An account in the name of a certain Indian Businessman, Rakesh Sham Tahiramani, was established at the bank where cheques payable to Concord Times, were fraudulently deposited.
Documentary evidences in the possession of Concord Times revealed how the bank is being used as a safe haven for a certain criminal cartel, whose job is to defraud newspaper outlets to the extent of rendering them bankrupt.
While Concord Times has no dealings with the bank, evidences in our possession revealed how the institution’s cheques running into nearly five hundred million Leones, were cashed out at Skye bank without the prior knowledge of the management of Concord Times.
Some of the Concord Times staff, who were allegedly involved in the said fraudulent act, are currently being investigated by the police, but the bank has refused to furnish the police with certain information that would aid their investigation.
“The police came here and we told them to follow due process by going to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).We cannot directly provide them with evidence because it would not be admissible in court. They have to follow the proper procedure and properly acquire the evidence that would be admissible in court,” said the Deputy General Manager of the bank,Ikubolaje Nicol.
Prior to the police requesting information from the bank, the management of the bank had agreed to fully cooperate in the investigation and promised to furnish the police with whatever information they may need.
Management of Concord Times had had several meetings with the management of the bank and an initial gentleman’s agreement was for the bank to refund all the monies fraudulently deposited into the criminal Indian cartel account hosted by the bank.
The bank earlier agreed to refund an initial fifty millions which was deposited into the account from January, 2020 to May, 2020, but later declined paying after Concord Times dug deep and established that a whoopy four hundred and eighty one millions Leones was deposited into the account from the year 2016 to 2020.
In the presence of their lawyer and ours, the deputy manager of the bank categorically stated the bank’s position that, they would not refund the money because they owe their shareholders answers for whatever money they release, especially having to do with such a colossal amount that was fraudulently deposited into the bank.
Their lawyer had argued that the bank cannot pay the money because it has not been established that the bank is criminally liable for such transaction.
Meanwhile, FIU has investigated the issue but police at the Criminal Investigations Department had told Concord Times that FIU failed to furnish them with the required information that would aid their investigation.
Concord Times has established that the said account hosted by Skye Bank was specifically set up to defraud newspaper outlets. The names of the newspapers that were defrauded would be mentioned in subsequent publications.