COURT: KCB bank in the spotlight over theft of client’s Shs121m - Daily Post Uganda

COURT: KCB bank in the spotlight over theft of client’s Shs121m

Edgar Byamah - MD KCB bank

KAMPALA: KCB bank has been sued over alleged negligence in theft of their client’s Shs121m.
Ms Nadya Dimitrova Mileva, a Bulgarian national, contends that on August 27, last year while riding a motorbike on Jinja Road at the traffic lights, thugs pounced on her and made off with her bag.

In the bag, she claims there were her bank credentials that were used to empty her bank account held with the local bank.
“The plaintiff (Ms Nadya) immediately reported the theft to the police and also alerted/contacted Rose Namubiru, an employee of the defendant bank; whom she informed that the credentials to the suit account and bank card had been stolen, using a mobile phone,” reads in part the court documents dated October 10, 2022.
Adding: “The police independently, and professionally, investigated the incident/ theft and the illegal withdrawal from the suit/ plaintiff’s bank account.”

Court documents further show that upon informing her bank to block her account in a bid to avert any suspicious transactions, one of the staff, (Ms Rose Namubiru), assured her that she had received her alert and that they had in turn, blocked her account.

But to her surprise, her account was depleted within 24 hours of Shs121m, a scenario that she holds the bank liable.
“The bank and its employee Rose Namubiru had hoodwinked the plaintiff (Ms Nadya) as her money was withdrawn with the full knowledge and participation of the defendant bank. The plaintiff did not authorise or instruct the defendant bank to remove the said Shs121m from her account,” the documents further state.
Ms Nadya contends that the bank is uncooperative and is in breach of the bank-customer/relationship.

She explains that the bank when requested, refused to disclose to her their report containing the findings of its investigations on unauthorised withdraws made on her account.
Ms Nadya also contends that when she met the managing director of the bank, Mr Edgar Byamah, he assured her that such scenarios are insured and that he promised to have her compensated once the investigations were done, but in vain.

“Despite the managing director’s assurances, comments and observations, the defendant bank has at the date hereof, refused, neglected and or otherwise, omitted to compensate the plaintiff for the loss of money stolen while in its care,” she avers.
Through her lawyers of Sebbowo & Co Advocates, Ms Nadya now wants the court to hold the local bank liable for being negligent leading to the theft of her money, which money should be refunded to her.

Bank defense
But in its defence filed before court, the bank denies being negligent while handling Ms Nadya’s request to them.
The bank contends that Ms Nadya asked them to block her ATM card but not her account, which request they did.
“The defendant at all times, acted in accordance with the instruction of the plaintiff (Ms Nadya), particularly the plaintiff instructed the defendant to block the ATM card after it had been lost, which was done. At no time did the plaintiff ever request the bank to block her account,” the bank avers.

Adding: “Blocking the account would mean that the customer cannot transact on the account using other channels/platforms such as over the counter (teller), mobile banking and internet banking, which was not the request. The plaintiff shall be put to strict proof.”

The bank further contends that the withdrawals from Ms Nadya’s account were done using her credentials which were sent to her registered mobile number.
It adds that under terms and conditions of the bank’s Internet banking, Ms Nadya accepted that any transactions conducted using her access information, would be deemed to have been authorised by her and that they wouldn’t be held liable. The case file has since been allocated to Justice Harriet Grace Magala although the hearing date has not been fixed yet.

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