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A 38-year-old man, alleged to be a specialist in hacking into the emails of banks and other business institutions to defraud them of various amounts, has been arrested by the police.
The suspect, identified as Gadiel Baah Nyumutei, according to the police, hacked into the emails of some business institutions and succeeded in transferring a total of GHc33, 000 and $9,800 into his personal bank account.
The Director in charge of Cyber Crime of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent of Police Mr. Herbert Gustav Yankson, told newsmen that the suspect was arrested after an official of one of the banks into whose account Gadiel had allegedly hacked and transferred money into his account reported the matter to the police.
He said on July 12, 2016, the management of the financial institution (name withheld) in Accra arrested Gadiel and handed him over to the police.
He said the institution claimed that on June 27 and 28, 2016, the relationship officer of the bank received an email purported to have emanated from a customer requesting her to transfer GHc15, 000 and $9,500 from his account into another account at a different financial institution.
After the transfers were made, Mr. Yankson said, the account holder detected the transfers and reported to the bank that he had not authorised any such transfers.
He said in the course of investigations, the police found that on July 7, 2016, an accountant with a pharmaceutical company also received an email purported to have come from the chief executive officer of the pharmaceutical company in Accra instructing him to deposit GHc18, 000 into an account number provided by the said chief executive.
According to Mr. Yankson, the accountant (name withheld), after depositing the money into the account, called the CEO to confirm payment, but the CEO denied instructing him to make any such payment.
Upon intelligence, Mr. Yankson said Gadiel was arrested at Haatso in Accra on July 7, 2016.
Further investigations revealed that the emails were hacked into after Gadiel had studied the trend of communication between the recipient of the email and the purported sender.
He said further investigations revealed that the email accounts of the victims were compromised. The police, he said, then studied the trend of communication in the various cases and found that the suspect sometimes generated emails after hacking into the emails to perpetrate the crime.
Mr. Yankson advised the public to often double check with clients before payments were made and should also avoid downloading email attachments from unknown sources since business email compromise was the highest number of cases recorded at the unit.