Several students of Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) are currently facing a police investigation following revelations by the University’s Finance Department that their tuition fees had not been credited to their accounts.
These students claim to have made payments for their fees into the University’s account at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) and received bank slips as receipts. However, it has come to light that the monies they paid did not reach the university.
At present, the students are detained at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), while the bank staff responsible for processing their payments is reportedly evading authorities. Among those held at the CID is Anthony Lagao, who allegedly acted as a liaison between the bank staff and students, which contributed to the payment discrepancy. MMTU insiders reveal that the Finance Department confirmed that the funds had not been credited to the institution’s account.
A source within MMTU stated, “What we have gathered so far is that the bank issued receipts to the students, but the monies were never deposited into our account.” Additionally, it was revealed that the police were called in promptly to investigate this fraudulent activity, which allegedly involves a senior bank staff member.
Despite efforts to dissuade the police from pressing charges to protect the bank’s reputation, CID sources indicate that the students will be charged today, Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
Meanwhile, as the public awaits further developments in this case, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank issued a press release on Monday, September 25, 2023, titled “Sierra Leone Commercial Bank Alerts Tertiary Institutions: ‘Beware of Student Registration Fraud
The release stated thus “The Board and Management of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) caution all universities, collcges, and tertiary institutions about the growing issue of students attempting to commit fraud during registration. Registration stands as a pivotal phase within tho academic calendar of any tertiary institution. During this period, students officially enroll in their courses, make tuition payments, and submit necessary information for administrative purposes.”Sadly, a minority ofstudents endeavor to manipulate this process for personal gain, resorting to distorting or forging information. SLCB’s Board and Management have observed concerning uptick in incidents involving students who engage in activities such as fabricating academic credentials, altering financial records, or resorting to identity theft in order to secure enrolment and financial assistance Such actions not only undermine the credibility of institutions but can also lead to significant financial losses. To address these pressing issues and safeguard the interests of our institutions, SLCB’s Board and Management shall continue to strengthen its enhanced students’ registration verification processes to detect irregularities, raise awareness of the consequences of fraudulent practices, work with authorities by collaborating with law enforcement to prosecute offenders, and more particularly encourage reporting of suspicious activities with whistle-blower protection.