Police bust ring targeting banks

Police bust ring targeting banks
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga.

By Ramson Muhairwe

In a recent development, the Uganda Police Force issued a stern warning to banks about an alarming surge in online fraud attempts targeting financial institutions during the festive season.

The cautionary statement comes on the heels of a major financial hit suffered by Housing Finance Bank, which fell victim to a sophisticated scam resulting in the loss of over 8 billion Ugandan shillings.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that nine individuals have been apprehended and are currently facing charges in connection to the 8.2 billion shillings heist at Housing Finance Bank.

The suspects allegedly employed tactics involving the forgery of bank users' national IDs to gain unauthorized access to accounts, orchestrating a complex money-switching operation across 49 different accounts.

Enanga, speaking at a special press conference held at the police headquarters, emphasized the gravity of the charges against the arrested individuals.

"They are facing counts of forgery, impersonation, and theft, among other cases," he stated.

Highlighting the need for heightened security measures, Enanga cautioned all banks to remain vigilant, particularly during the festive season when such criminal activities tend to spike.

"Ensuring safety is paramount, given the prevalence of these crimes during festive seasons," warned Enanga.

As the police spokesperson addressed the media, he also shared the Inspector General of Police's (IGP) Christmas message, shedding light on the achievements of 2023, the challenges faced, and outlining expectations for the coming year.

"Top on the agenda for 2024 is the safety of international delegates attending several international conferences starting early next month," Enanga added.

The apprehension of fraud suspects serves as a reminder for financial institutions to fortify their cybersecurity measures and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to curb the rising threat of online fraud.

The public is urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities to ensure a safer and more secure banking environment.

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