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Africa Live: Ethiopian bank hunts clients over millions lost in glitch - BBC News Africa Live: Ethiopian bank hunts clients over millions lost in glitch - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Ethiopia's largest commercial bank has given customers who withdrew more money than they had in their accounts until the end of the week to return it or face arrest and prosecution. A court in South Africa has dismissed former President Jacob Zuma's bid to remove a prosecutor in a corruption case against him.
Local media reported that more than $40m (£31m) was withdrawn or transferred to other banks on Saturday during a system glitch lasting several hours at the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). Mr Zuma's legal team has accused state prosecutor Billy Downer of bias in the arms deal graft case.
In an interview with the BBC Newsday programme, CBE President Abe Sano on Wednesday said the bank has traced most of the transactions conducted during the glitch. The former president failed to prove how Mr Downer’s continued presence as his prosecutor would violate his fair trial rights, the Kwazulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg ruled on Wednesday.
When asked whether CBE would report those who don't return the money to the police, Mr Abe replied: This is the second time Mr Zuma has tried and failed to remove Mr Downer from the arms deal trial.
"Yeah, yeah, for sure. We are doing already". In May 2021, he unsuccessfully challenged the prosecutor's removal in court.
He added that the bank will take legal action against those who will not have returned the funds "after this weekend". Mr Zuma is facing 16 charges of corruption over a multi-billion dollar arms deal, in a case that has dragged on for years as the former president challenges attempts by the prosecution to put him on trial.
"There is no way that they can escape because they are digital [transactors] and they are our customers. We know them. They are traceable and they are legally accountable for what they did," Mr Abe told Newsday. Read more on the arms deal scandal:
Some of the customers who withdrew excess money have already returned it to the bank, Mr Abe said. South Africa arms deal that landed Zuma in court
He however disputed the reports that customers took $40m, saying the amount taken was far smaller but will be accurately determined after an ongoing audit is completed later this week.
Mr Sano added that the audit is being done because some of the 10,000 customers who transacted during the glitch conducted legitimate transactions.
Read more:
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia glitch lets customers withdraw millions
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