From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
Ecobank Refutes False Newspaper Publication
By
Apr 30, 2013, 12:00

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

The attention of Ecobank Microfinance Sierra Leone Ltd. has been drawn to The Nationalist Newspaper publication of Thursday 18th April 2013 with the headline:Ecobank Accused of Money Laundering. The  article written by Moriba Kamara states that an Indian business man, Malik Mohammed Sarik has indicted Ecobank for financial malpractices associated with money laundering. and goes on  to further assert that the bank hastily transferred US$699,000 into the accounts of Mr. Mbakui and Co mining company called River Miners without him giving proper authorization.

In light of the foregoing, Ecobank Microfinance Sierra Leone Ltd. wishes to emphatically refute the accusations and state the following facts:

   The Indian business man Malik Mohammed Sarik is not an account holder with Ecobank Microfinance SL Ltd. and as such does not have any relationship with the bank.

   That the said transaction was a straight forward transaction between River Miners Company Ltd. and their business partner, Fame Holdings Ltd. Funds were remitted into the said account and subsequently withdrawn by an authorized signatory.

   That it is erroneous to state that Ecobank hastily transferred US$699,000 into the accounts of Mr. Mbakwi and Co mining company called River Miners when the said transactions were initiated by Fame Holdings Ltd and not by Malik Mohamed Sarik himself to the River Miners account.

   That it is the responsibility of Malik Mohammed Sarik and any business person to ensure that they perform due diligence on the integrity of their business partner(s)  before embarking on any venture with them and most especially  before remitting large sums of money.

   The role of Ecobank Microfinance SL Ltd. in this case was to facilitate a SWIFT remittance instruction which Fame Holdings effected overseas in favor of River Miners Company.  It would therefore be incorrect for Malik Mohamed Sarik to accuse Ecobank of hastily transferring US$ 699,000 into the accounts of Mr. Mbakui and co mining company, called River Miners, without him giving proper authorization since he is not a signatory to the account of River Miners Company Ltd.

In relation to the same issue, Ecobank Microfinance SL Ltd. notes the For Di People Newspaper publication of Wednesday 24th April 2013 that accuses Ecobank of allowing swindlers to defraudMalik Mohamed Sarikof US$25,000 by allowing them to operate an account of a non existing company called River Miners Company. The same article questions and calls on the Anti Corruption Commission and Parliament to conduct thorough investigation on Ecobank to ascertain whether the procedures used by the River Miners Company to open the said account in the bank are correct and whether the necessary documents required to open accounts were made available.

 

Ecobank Microfinance SL Ltd. again emphatically refutes the above assertions and wishes it to be known that the River Miners Company is a duly incorporated and registered company in Sierra Leone with registration number 2037/2010.

 

The bank is carrying out its internal investigation on the matter and would like to stress that it prides itself in conducting business with utmost integrity and adherence to the regulations set by the Bank of Sierra Leone as well as the sound ethical guidelines established across the Ecobank Group. The bank also has internal policies on Anti Money Laundering which guides its operations.

 

Ecobank Microfinance Sierra Leone Ltd. has never and will never act to defraud any individual be it an account holder or not. The bank also wishes to acknowledge and commend the Standard Times, Awoko and Concord Times newspapers for reporting the facts without passing judgment or taking sides.



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