A former Assistant General Manager with Keystone Bank, Mr Rowly Isioro and his wife, Ovuomarhoni Naomi Isioro, a businesswoman, have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over their alleged involvement in Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud and money laundering.
According to a statement made by the antigraft agency on Monday, November 4th, their arrest followed a petition received by the Commission from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, through the office of the Legal Attache, United States Consulate, Lagos, about their alleged involvement in computer-based fraud, stealing and money laundering.
The couple was alleged to have laundered the total sum of $1.49m through Ovuomarhoni’s bank account in Nigeria.
“So far, an investigation revealed that Naomi met one Michael Uziewe (who is still at large) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, sometime in 2016, and introduced her to foreign exchange business.
“Through this encounter, Naomi and her banker husband turned their two registered companies, Marhoni General Services Limited, and Multaid Plus Limited, into a conduit for the dispersal of funds wired by Uziewe, who allegedly owns Global Investment network,” the commission stated.
The EFCC explained that Naomi, in statements volunteered to the Commission, confirmed she had been receiving monies in Dollars, with instructions to pay the naira equivalent into accounts provided by Uziewe.
“Facts have also emerged that each time Naomi receives the Dollar transfers, she makes over the counter withdrawals, in breach of financial regulations that such transactions go through the financial system, and sell them to Bureau de Change operators for Naira equivalents.
“Rowly Isioro, a banker of over 22 years’ experience has also confessed that he was aware that someone his wife met in the United States of America, sends her Dollars, while she pays the naira equivalent to various accounts on the instruction of the US-based partner.
“Rowly was allegedly relieved of his appointment with the bank as a result of his involvement in the money laundering scheme,” the statement added.
However, EFCC in its usual norm did not reveal the name of the bank involved in the statement, but checks by The Herald NG showed that Rowly has been under the employ of Keystone bank for 11 years and 3 months. His professional profile on social media shows he is still an employee of the bank as the Head of the South Directorate.
According to his profile, he is responsible for all business segments (Commercial, Retail, Corporate, Public Sector) in 11 (eleven) states in Nigeria – Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi.
His professional profile also reads, “Rowly is a Chartered Banker and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) with over 20 years of banking experience. As a trade and transaction banking specialist with working knowledge in 15 African countries, he has played an important role in growing trade in various African markets and attracting foreign investments into Africa. He has held senior management positions in leading banks in Nigeria and has presented several papers internationally and locally.
“He is currently the Head of South Directorate at Keystone Bank Limited with responsibility for all business segments. Prior to now, he was the Divisional Head, International Banking with specific mandate for delivering trade and transaction banking solutions in the 5 countries where the bank is physically present – Nigeria, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. He had worked at United Bank for Africa (UBA) as the Head of Global Financial Institutions with responsibility for selling and delivering treasury, cash and trade products across Africa as well as developing and managing correspondent banking relationships between UBA New York and local banks in 15 African countries. He was also responsible for relationships with Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
He started his banking career at FBN (Merchant Bankers) Ltd and later worked at FSB International Bank Plc, New Nigeria Bank Plc, and Access Bank Plc. His exposure also includes Commercial Banking/Branch Management, Domestic/Treasury Operations, International Operations, Internal Control and Audit.
He holds a B.Sc Degree in Accountancy (Second Class Upper Division) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and has attended various international courses, seminars, conferences and workshops on Structured Trade & Commodity Finance, Risk Management, Trade Sales, Transaction Banking, Personal Development, Team Building and Leadership.
He is married and blessed with three children.