Botswana Building Society (“BBS”), led by its Managing Director Mr. Pius Komane Molefe, has been consulting Members across the country on the plan to commercialise BBS.
- Sign your card as soon as you receive it.
- Never write your PIN number and or card information, memorize it.
- Always keep your card and card details in a safe place.
- Do not give your personal details, card number, PIN number(s) and other personal information over the phone, Internet or to people you do not know.
- Always crosscheck your ATM slips, receipts against your bank statement.
- Always be on the lookout for people who might want to watch you when entering PIN number.
- Use your body as shield when operating the machine.
- Do not allow yourself to be distracted by people or anything at the machine when transacting.
- Always give each other enough space to transact at the machines.
- Try by all means to use same machine all the time.
- Never throw away your expired card, dispose it accordingly e.g. burn it.
- Always check your new card at the branch subsequent to the expiry of the existing one.
- Please report lost, stolen and or captured ATM card as soon as possible.
Money laundering is defined as a complex process of cleaning the proceeds of serious crimes in order to conceal the original source of the said funds. Money laundering is an offence in Botswana and other countries which are members of the United Nations and monitored by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Proceeds of Serious Crime Act 1990 and the 2000 Amendment of the said Act criminalizes the process of money laundering in Botswana.
The process happens when a criminal has money which he obtains through illegal activities e.g. stock theft and armed robberies. The money will then be deposited into bank accounts for safe keeping by the bank without the institutions officials having knowledge that the institution is being used to hide money from illegal activities.
The funds in the account will then be transferred from one account to the other or being cashed and kept at home by the criminals to be used when a need arise. The idea behind transferring funds from one account to the other is to create a web which the investigators will find difficult to break through when tracing the funds.
Last but not least, the money will be used to finance some legitimate businesses or the criminals will start spending money directly from the bank so as to give the funds a legitimate image. The money will now be from the bank and no suspicions can arise due to the fact that our financial institutions are regulated by a competent institution and they have a good reputation locally and internationally. The funds can also be used to settle the already existing debts incurred by the criminals like the credit cards.
At times the money will be deposited into credit card accounts and the perpetrator will have more money in the card to spend over and above the credit limit offered by the credit card providers.
The funds used to finance or assist legitimate businesses create an imbalance in the market because the companies owned by those criminals can afford to offer substantial discounts to their clients and still stay in business. This then forces other businesses competing in the same market to lower their prices to attract customers. In the end they loose because of the imbalance.
At times such companies have sister companies abroad who over quote supplies with the intention of transferring funds across boundaries. This also constitutes money laundering due to the fact that the idea is to enhance the already created web.
As a financial institution, one has to comply with the Know Your Customer provision as outlined in the Banking [Anti-Money Laundering] Regulations of 2003 and also comply with the Customer Due Diligence concept for it to fight money laundering. It is an obligation on the part of a financial institution and its employees to report suspicious transactions to Bank of Botswana and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime.
If they cannot increase their own wealth, why then do we have to fall into their traps?
There has been a growing trend in Botswana of conmen who obtain money from people under false pretences. The following methods have been used by these unscrupulous criminals to get people’s hard earned cash and at times leading their victims to committing offences like stealing from their employers.
The pretense of increasing money using ordinary paper by a conman
The fraudster will ask you to give them money so that they increase it for you. They normally suggest small amounts such as P400.00 in multiples of P100.00 notes. They will then double or triple the amount with their own legal money so that after the process you receive the real notes to spend. By this time they would have tricked the victim into believing that the fraudster has the capacity and the know-how to make money. After having accomplished this, they will then request the victim to bring substantial amounts of money to “multiply”.
This at times leads to people stealing from their employers with the hope that they will tripled for each party to get a piece of the cake and have the initial amount returned to the rightful owner. Unfortunately, this never happens. All that is returned is a moneybox or trunk filled with fictitious notes in multiples of P100.00 and huge debts.
The pretense of buying shares or property from the victim
The fraudster approaches a victim, pretends to have interests in acquiring property from them followed by a request for their bank account numbers. Before requesting for ones accounting details, they offer to pay by cheque in the hope that the victim would decline and opt to have the funds transferred directly into their bank account. At this point a fraudulent transfer will be made into the victims account by the fraudster who would later on return with a claim that there was error of judgment and that they want to cancel the transaction. As “compensation” the fraudster would agree to a repayment of 75% (for example) of the deal amount for having used the property for a while.
This then leads to the victim drawing the agreed amount from their account and handing it to the conman in exchange of their property. No full names or contact details are disclosed in this whole process. The catch is that, once the law enforcers trace the money, the victim remains the prime suspect up until the real suspect has been traced. For most this is not easy because the true identity of the conman never comes to light.
The whole essence is that caution should be taken at all times when buying and selling goods. Not everybody you come into contact with is as genuine as they may appear.
Arm robbery is the act of depriving somebody his/her personal belongings or what is in their custody using force. The force could be in the form of gun, knife, or any dangerous weapon that can inflict pain or cause death to the victim. Victim(s) should observe the following cautions during a robbery to ensure their safety and those of other people:
- Remain calm. There is no need to panic because this might incite the perpetrator to act. Just have faith that things will turned out okay.
- Obey the instructions directed at you by the perpetrator exactly the way he presents them to you. Pay attention to his commands so as not to offend him.
- Try to identify the robber without showing him that you are drawing his picture. Do not stare at him as this might offend him and lead to unwanted incidents like shooting.
- Preserve evidence the way it was when the robbers left the scene. Nothing is as frustrating as having evidence thrown out the window by the court of law. After the robbers have left, please lock the doors to prevent witnesses from leaving as this might lead to loss of evidence.
NB: Being cautious means you care about your life and those of others.