Buganda road court has charged and remanded two MTN staff for allegedly defrauding huge sums of money from various people using Lands minister Persis Namuganza and her agriculture counterpart Christopher Kyebazanga’s phone numbers.
Grade one magistrate Samuel Kagoda on Monday charged Nasser Kigenyi,29, an MTN service centre adviser from Mubende branch and Henry Mugambe, a sales man for MTN in Kyegegwa with offences related to abetting of electronic fraud contrary to section 21(1) 20 of the Computer Misuse Act.
They were also charged with unauthorised blocking of SIMcards and conspiracy to defraud, all under the Computer Misuse Act 2011.
Prosecution led by Nelly Asiku alleges that in February, the duo in Kampala and Mubende districts unlawfully swapped SIMcard numbers 0782670551 belonging to Namuganza,0772970393 belonging to Kyebazanga,0783799892 belonging to Mwine Mpaka and 07726679365 belonging to Mercy Kyankunda before blocking the registered owners from using them and allowed fraudsters to use them to solicit money from unsuspecting members of the public.
They were remanded to Luzira until March 15.
Recently, Namuganza told journalists that unknown people were sending messages to all persons saved in her telephone contact list telling them how she was in a meeting and needed money that would be refunded later.
The con artists then asked their victims to deposit the money on given telephone contacts in the names of a one Ssebandeke Muhamudu.
“First victims whom they conned were my people from the Ministry who sent Shs2m after the con artists told claimed that I needed the money from fuel. They sent several others and asked for the same amount of money,”Namuganza said.
She revealed the con artists also tried to dupe the then Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura of Shs 5m but did not succeed after the police boss used Namuganza’s alternative contact to reach out to her.
“When he (Kayihura) received the message, he used another line and called wondering if it was really me in need of the money, I explained that I had no idea.”
“To my surprise even when the network service provider told me they had blocked the number, it was still being used by these conmen,” she added.
According to the minister, over Shs 140m shillings has been duped from government Ministers, Members of parliament and friends.
It is said that during the time the fraud , the victims including Namuganza and Kyebanzanga could not pick or make calls on their MTN phone lines but would later be activated when the ‘mission’ had been executed.