04 November 2019
In August 2018, the email account of a Procurement Specialist at Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action (MHSA), the Principal Recipient for the Global Fund’s Tuberculosis/RSSH grant, was hacked. Fraudsters posing as suppliers instructed the Procurement Specialist to make a planned payment for the purchase of tuberculosis diagnostic equipment to a third-party bank account in Eastern Europe. MHSA’s Division of Finance Administration and Staff subsequently instructed their bank to transfer US$481,541 to this new account.
The fraud came to light afterwards, when the Procurement Specialist copied a genuine supplier employee in an email to the fraudsters. Insufficient vigilance, controls and reporting at MHSA, most notably controls related to changing beneficiaries’ bank account details, allowed the fraud to succeed. There was no evidence of collusion between the Procurement Specialist and the fraudsters.