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Police arrests 3 more suspects over hacking into telecoms- Banks’ aggregator

ASP Twine

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |   The cyber detectives at Criminal Investigations Directorate – CID have arrested three more people in connection to the ongoing investigations into the hacking of Pegasus technologies and causing loss of billions of shilling to two telecommunication giants and two Banks.

Hackers early this month penetrated Pegasus, an aggregator of MTN, Airtel, Stanbic Bank and Bank of Africa where over 10 billion shillings was fraudulently transferred to more than 2000 Sim cards.

A cyber detective told Uganda Radio Network- URN that by Tuesday evening compilations of money illegally transferred to 2,130 Sim cards had put the figure at 10.3 billion shillings. The investigator added that the biggest amount of money was fraudulently transferred to MTN Sim cards.

“We have so far arrested five suspects. Three are from Pegasus while two others are from MTN. Stanbic Bank and MTN lost the biggest amount in this scam. We have already counted 10.3 billion shillings lost in this scandal,” a senior detective said.

Charles Twine, the Assistant Superintendent of Police –ASP Charles Twine, who is also CID Spokesperson, confirmed that three more suspects have been arrested by the investigating team but declined to divulge details. This brings the number of suspects arrested to five since the investigations commenced last week.

“It is true that criminals hacked into a system of one of the aggregators that enables communication between banks and telecommunication companies. It is alleged that some amount of money was actually taken. The suspects are being processed,” said ASP Twine.

It alleged that most of the Sim cards on which money was transferred were registered in names of foreigners or companies. The Sim cards have reportedly been switched off since the incident occurred.

Although detectives indicate that MTN and Airtel managers have instructed them to first secure a court order in order to access details of all names in which the Sim cards were registered, ASP Twine said revealing such details would jeopardize investigations.

However, ASP Twine said several banks have revealed that they receive a minimum of 10 attempts to penetrate their electronic system every day.

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URN

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