An audio recording of a meeting held by Nedbank Zimbabwe bank tellers accused of fraud, has revealed that the bank is actually missing up to US $5 million to an apparent forex scam.
The bank tellers are accused of defrauding the bank of US $1.1 million. This figure, however, the tellers said in the recording, is just a fraction of hard currency that has gone missing at the bank. The tellers indicate that management is aware of the missing $5 million and have been looking for it.
The bank tellers, who feel that management is actively making them take the fall for the forex scam, claim that senior leaders at the bank turned a blind eye to forex arbitrage problem emanating from the 1:1 RBZ fixed rate. They also accuse management of actively participating in defrauding the bank by withdrawing, approving withdrawals and approving foreign payments of US dollars against Bond Note account balances without clear approval from the RBZ.
Said one teller:
The bank has decided to just to turn back on all those issues and then embarrass us in the manner in which they embarrassed us, and try to oil the state machinery and state agencies. And this efficiency in providing transport and everything that is needed at every turn to make sure that we are arrested and displayed to everyone who cares to listen that we have swindled the bank USD $1.1 million. Yet they are looking for USD $5 million that up to now we are yet to know who took. Who took the balance because at least now they can tell us that the $1.1 million was taken by tellers.
And we want to know what kind of coordination we had as a team. Those that are in Gweru, Bulawayo, Harare. We all did that?
The tellers are part of a group of 28 tellers from a number of the bank’s branches country-wide who were arrested on 5 and 6 April on charges of defrauding the bank.
You can listen to the full recording here.
It has been reported that the forex scam may be industry-wide, with other banks in the country likely having similar problems.