7 “Thieves” arrested UGX5bn via online banking


Kampala | RedPepper Digital – Seven people were arrested in Kampala for allegedly stealing more than Shs 5 billion through a fraudulent online banking system.

The suspects have been identified as Fred Sitakyange, Ephraim Bagambe, Allan Juuko, Bairon Ndyamuhaki, Peter Katumba, Erasmus Mutambi and Ronald Bashijja.

They were recovered in separate intelligence operations on Wednesday and Thursday at the Mutaasa-Kafeero arcade, the E-Tower building and the Cooper-Complex in Kampala, following reports of a group of people. who were fraudulently withdrawing money from various bank accounts.

A detective who was part of the operations said suspects often call targeted victims, posing as employees of telecommunications companies who want to upgrade subscriber SIM cards for better performance. In the process, they trick them into freeing their passwords and then hack into the online banking system.

“They are fraudsters, who specialize in the use of computers and banking systems. They create stories that they are working with the telecom company, and unfortunately so many Ugandans succumb and give them all the information they ask for, ”the officer said.

Some of the victims who fell prey to such antics say that they had never subscribed to any online banking service, but their money was withdrawn through the same platforms.

But police say scammers use the information they get to manipulate phones and access other services, including signing up for online banking, in case the owner of the phone is not registered. .

Sometimes they steal the phone and manipulate the system until they are able to withdraw money from the owner’s bank account. Police also recovered hundreds of phones and computers that were used to conduct the transactions.

Police said more than Sh 800 million from various Equity Bank accounts were stolen this month and several other banks together reported thefts amounting to Sh 5 billion in the past three months.

“We have recorded other cases of other banks that have lost money, between Shs 3 and Shs 7 billion using the same method by these fraudsters. We are currently looking for other suspects still at large, ”said Charles Twiine, spokesperson for the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID).

Twiine notes that the suspects have recorded statements as part of the investigations and will appear in court for fraud. He says the police have created strong teams to find and apprehend these criminals.

Earlier in May this year, four people were arrested for attempting to steal Shs 43 million from President Museveni’s brother General Salim Saleh at Stanbic Bank.

The suspects ; Isima Katende, Mawejje Yahaya, Mukasa Tukiko and Steven Ssemwogere allegedly hacked Saleh’s email account and gave express instructions to the bank manager to make the payment on certain phone numbers.

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