They all denied the charges, prompting Grade One Magistrate Marion Mangeni to remand them until August 25, 2021. (Credit: Alice Namutebi)
Alice Namutebi
Journalist @New Vision


KAMPALA – The Buganda Road Chief Magistrates’ Court has charged and remanded to Kitalya Prison five people on charges of hacking into airtel money services and stealing millions of shillings from unsuspecting customers.

The group all residents of Namasuba Kikajjo zone in Wakiso district are said to have defrauded businessman Salim Sserujja of sh10,106,020 by gaining access to his phone after sending him a One Time password message [OTP] and convincing him to read the message after calling him thereafter transferring money from his phone.

According to prosecution, the mastermind of the heist is a 29-year-old Alex Kalema alias Mumerika who made a call to Sserujja under the disguise of being an airtel employee doing a system upgrade.

He was charged with electronic fraud, unauthorised use of computer services, being in possession of suspected stolen or unlawfully obtained property and conspiracy to commit a felony all contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 2011 and Penal Code Act.

It’s alleged that Kalema and others still at large on July 22, 2021 within Kampala and Wakiso district knowingly secured unfair and unlawfully gain of sh5,083,660 when they used Airtel money application to access and cause the transfer of money from Sserujja’s Airtel money number without his consent.

That on the same day Kalema knowingly and deliberately using a computer communication network secured access without authority and transferred Airtel money sh4.300,000 from Sserujja’s sim card to 0770629989 registered in the names of Norah Ajaro, sh500,000 from Sserujja’s sim card to 0757830313 in the names of Emmanuel Munyaneza, sh210,000 from the same simcard to 0757830133 in the names of Jenina Tuteireyo and sh12,660 to simcard number 0707386654 registered in the names of Julia Kasingwire all totalling to sh10,106,320.

Among other co-accused is Eddy Katumba, 24, Bashir Kigozi, 21, Hassan Sekabira, 18, and Geoffrey Ssebisubi, 20, an artist.

They all denied the charges, prompting Grade One Magistrate Marion Mangeni to remand them until August 25, 2021 when they will return to court for mention of their case. 


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