Trade & investment

FIB conference delegates identify fraudster

  • 12 November 2004

A dramatic and unintended turn of events at the ICC Financial Investigation Bureau (FIB) annual conference last month has brought officials closer to apprehending an international fraudster.

Two conference delegates unexpectedly identified a fraudster sought by one of the conference speakers. These parties are now cooperating to halt the scam and bring this individual to justice.

During a seminar discussing banking fraud, the photo of the architect of a recent banking scam was flashed onto the screen. Soon after, two delegates from a Middle Eastern bank approached the presenter and advised him that they not only recognized the fraudster, but also knew where he could be found. The two delegates from the Middle Eastern bank knew the identity of the man, but had no idea he was wanted for insider fraud.

The fraud perpetrator was identified as a former bank employee responsible for a recent con at a well-known international European bank involving a combination of fraudulent documents and identity theft. After manufacturing fake documentation, the fraudster used the false documents to conceal the illegal transfer of over $500,000. Using a transfer of funds request illegally drafted in the name of a well-known and important banking customer, the money was sent to Switzerland. Immediately following this clandestine transaction, the employee resigned and disappeared.

Until the recent FIB conference, his whereabouts were unknown. It was suspected he had relocated to the Middle East. “This discovery was totally unexpected,” said FIB Assistant Director Jon Merrett. “Tracking this individual down wasn’t the intent of the conference, but doing so illustrates one of the benefits of assembling bankers and fraud investigators from all over the world.”

Mr Merrett added: “We hope that with the assistance of the FIB, the Middle Eastern conference delegates and the defrauded bank can capture the fraudster. Fortunately, the fraud was quickly identified and the stolen funds frozen. We expect these funds will be returned in due course.”