The recent case of alleged fraud using the check deposit system of Bank of Guam ATM has pointed towards the bigger flaw in the BOG systems where a check of lower value can be deposited by entering a higher amount leading to transfer of money without a preventive mechanism.
Last month Clifton Soalablai who was Presidents Chief Security Guard along with Soalablai’s wife Margie Ngirmidol was charged with money laundering and theft of a government property when Soalablai allegedly deposited his pay roll check of $524.71 with a false amount of $52,471.
$52,471 was accepted by the BOG ATM and the Office of the Special Prosecutor claims that the money was transferred from the government treasury into Soalablai’s personal. According to the investigators, Ngirmidol withdrew a total sum of $6,870 in cash from it between 4th and 25th of February.
The case against the couple was filed last month but it is during this time when OSP discovered there has been another false deposit and withdrawal in March and May by Ngirmidol.
The BOG Palau branch employees are claiming that none of this happened and are rejecting the news reports which are based on the case filed by the OSP. The employees are directed not to talk to the media by the BOG Palau manager.
Island Times reached out to BOG Palau manager last month who refused to give out any information about the case or the bank procedures and directed all the queries to the head office. The response from the BOG head office has cited customer privacy and procedural isuues for all the queries.
As BOG hasn’t given the clarification on the incident, Island Times also reached out to Bank of Hawaii to understand the basic check deposit procedures.
At BOH, a check is automatically read by the ATM machine and in cases where the check isn’t read, there is an option to enter the amount manually.
An employee at BOH who does not wish to be named stated that if the amount is above $200, an immediate credit is given by the bank of $200 but this money is not transferred from any account.
In case, there is a false amount entered, there is no transaction at all from one account to another and BOH penalizes $28 on an individual from getting $200 credit from the bank. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)