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MTN staff remanded over hacking Ugandan ministers’ SIM-cards

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Two senior MTN Staff who allegedly defrauded people using the telephone lines of Ugandan ministers have been remanded to Luzira Prison.

Nasser Kigenyi a Service Customer Adviser and Henry Mugambe a Salesman attached to MTN -Mubende -Kyegegwa Branch,  appeared before Buganda Road Court Grade One Magistrate Samuel Kagoda where they faced nine counts, including electronic fraud , computer misuse ,  unauthorized blocking of  SIM-cards and conspiracy to defraud.

The two suspects allegedly used SIM-cards supposed to be belonging to Lands Minister Persis Namuganza and Agriculture Minister Christopher Kibazanga.  They have denied the charges and are remanded till March 15, 2017.

Court heard on Monday that the other people whose SIM-cards were also used by the two suspects to con people are Western Youth MP Mwine Mpaka and Mercy Kyankunda.

Prosecution alleges that in February 2018, the two while in Kampala and Mubende, unlawfully swapped sim-card numbers 0782670551 belonging to Persis Namuganza, 0772970393 belonging (Christopher Kyebazanga), 0783799892 ( Mwine Mpaka) and 07726679365 (Mercy Kyankunda), allowing them to use the numbers after blocking the registered owners from using them.

Prosecution led by Nelly Asiku said investigations are still ongoing, the suspects having committed the offence last month in Kampala and Mubende.

They are alleged to have unlawfully swapped SIM-card numbers belonging to the said victims, and allowed fraudsters to use them after blocking the lawful registered owners.

It’s further alleged that the suspects stole huge sums of money from the unsuspecting members of the public to who they would send SMS while pretending to be the registered users.

Namuganza, also Bukono Member of Parliament,told journalists that she is having sleepless nights after unknown hackers tapped into her telephone contact list and reportedly fleeced people of their money in her name.

According to the minister, the suspects who began their illegal deal last month, started by sending a message to all persons saved in her telephone contact stating that “I am in a meeting but meanwhile help me and get for me where there is mobile money and deposit sh1m, sh2m or sh3m I will refund you later. If you don’t have borrow for me because it’s urgent.”

The con artists then asked their victims to deposit the money on given telephone contacts in the names of a one Ssebandeke Muhamudu.

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