Stanbic Bank employee remanded to Kitalya prison over hacking of telecom giants

Alvin Mugerwa has been remanded to Kitalya prison.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court has remanded Alvin Mugerwa to Kitalya government’s prison on charges related to hacking of Pegasus Technologies systems.

Mugerwa was on Friday 11th, December 2020 afternoon arraigned before Grade One Senior Magistrate Stella Maris Amabilis who read to him two charges under the Computer Misuse Act of 2011.

The charges are unauthorized access and access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a further offense.

The prosecution contends that Mugerwa and others still at large between July 2020 and October 2020 in Kampala intentionally accessed Pegasus Technologies systems without authority or permission to do so.

It is also alleged that at around the same time and area, Mugerwa intentionally accessed Pegasus Technologies systems without authority or permission to do so with intentions of facilitating the commission of electronic fraud.

Trouble for Mugerwa started when two telecommunication giants MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda and two banks Stanbic Bank and Bank of Africa reported to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department of Police in Kibuli that more than 10 billion shillings had fraudulently been transferred to more than 2,000 sim cards.

According to police records, money was reportedly taken when Mugerwa and others who are still at large hacked into a system of one of the aggregators that enables communication between the telecommunication companies and banks.

Police had previously told this publication that majority of the sim cards on which the money was transferred were either registered in the names of foreigners or foreign companies.

Read Also: Over 50 telecom agents, record officials arrested over Pegasus hacking

However, Mugerwa who was being represented by lawyer Fahad Siraji denied the charges and was sent to prison until December 14, 2020 when he can apply for bail after the State Attorney Mariam Njuki told court that investigations were incomplete.

This is not the first time criminals are hacking telecoms.

In 2015, six former employees of MTN Uganda were sentenced to nine years in jail for unauthorized access to mobile money agent lines after hacking into the system, and wired over three billion shillings to various mobile money agent lines, money which they later shared.