False: The image doesn’t show Siinqee Bank illegally distributing cash

A social media account with more than twenty thousand followers recently shared a claim on X, stating that Siinqee Bank is illegally distributing cash to people without any documents.

The post uses a description to indicate the allegation as “A new private bank formed by a group of individuals who have close ties to the regime named “Sinque Bank (ሲንቄ ባንክ)” now illegally distributing cash to folks without any documentation (see the picture below).”

Disclosures given by corporations and banks are an important tool used as a communication mechanism between insiders and outsiders either investors or regulators who are seeking information for their decision-making.

The post accuses the Ethiopian government of incorporating local banks like Siinqee Bank, Awash Bank, Cooperative Bank of Oromia, and Oromia Bank as its affiliates by reviewing and controlling their account books and financial statements.

It also included a strong accusation that the Federal government [Abiy Ahmed’s] regime is printing the Ethiopian birr and triggering economic inflation in the country.

It continues, many large clients, mainly state and federal government accounts have been transferred to this bank (Siinqee) and taken control of large deposits made by government-owned business entities and institutions.

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Siinqee Bank used to operate as Oromia Credit and Savings Share Company.  It has become a prominent player in microfinance, boasting a substantial capital of more than 7 billion birr. The bank’s name, Siinqee, derives from a cultural practice called SIINQEE, which holds significance in the Oromo Women’s Cultural Practice and the grand Geda System.

Siinqee represents a social power that empowers Oromo women, enabling them to protect their rights, mediate disputes, safeguard their communities, promote coexistence and cooperation, and contribute to peace and stability.

The image that was attached with the claim above was also found on the official Facebook page of Jimma Zone Communication with a caption of “Godina Jimmaa Aanaa Cooraa Botoritti sosochii Qusannaa guyyaa tokkootiin Qonnaan Bultoonni Aanichaa waan hojjatan irraa Qr. 266,000,000 ol Baankii Siinqeetti qusataniiru” translated as “In 1 day in Chora province of Jimma country, the local farmers saved more than 266,000,000 from the income they have generated, in Siinqee Bank.

Other similar posts were also found on this Facebook page about saving campaigns made by Siinqee Bank in different zones of the region.

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HaqCheck attempted to reach out to the primary source or the claimant to verify the information presented. However, despite diligent efforts, HaqCheck was unable to establish any means of communication with the claimant. The claimant had also disabled the messaging section on their Twitter account, further impeding direct contact. Given the urgency of the topic and the inability to confirm details with the primary source, HaqCheck faced a dilemma in verifying the information before publication.

Therefore through careful investigation and review, HaqCheck found the claim made by the X account to be False.

Moreover, in a manipulative and deceitful attempt, the same images shown in the X account as well as Jimma Zone Communication, were found surfaced online in a TikTok account with the sole purpose of scamming unsuspecting individuals. It was strategically designed to lure people into a fraudulent trap by claiming the people with the money were members of the Illuminati community and promising people financial independence if they registered for the community.

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