The National Bank of Costa Rica (BN) has disclosed a significant accounting discrepancy of ¢6.4 million in its Cash Management Area.
Reports indicate that the actual amount of money in the bank’s vaults is lower than what their technological accounting systems have recorded.
In a recent announcement, BN authorities revealed that a legal complaint has been lodged against five of the bank’s employees, who are suspected of being connected to this financial anomaly.
The accused include two area supervisors, a technician, a custodian, and an accountant. They are facing charges of alleged embezzlement and dereliction of duty.
Jaime Murillo Víquez, the bank’s interim manager, emphasized that the money in question belongs to the bank’s clients. It’s usually collected by external providers and subsequently stored securely within the bank.
When questioned about the discrepancy, Murillo remarked, “We haven’t yet determined how the withdrawal or potential theft took place.”
He further noted that the location from where the money was presumably lost is continuously monitored by surveillance cameras. He expressed doubt over the possibility of someone exiting with a bag of cash, suggesting stringent controls in place.
Although many theories have been proposed regarding this discrepancy, Murillo briefly hinted at the possibility of simulated monthly checks that might not have reflected the true amounts.
Of the accused, two have tenures ranging between 9 and 12 years with the institution, with the group comprising four men and one woman. As the investigation is ongoing, these employees have been suspended with pay.
This alarming revelation came to light in early October after an audit by the Internal Control department, which identified inconsistencies in the bank’s tech records.
Despite this setback, the BN assures its stakeholders that neither the bank’s assets nor the clients’ funds are at risk.