New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Bulgarians Get 20-Year Jail Sentence

Kampala — Three of the four Bulgarians accused of forging several Stanbic Bank ATM cards before making off with unspecified sums of money have been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Buagnda Road Grade one Magistrate, Julius Borore sentenced Ivan Ganchev, Milen Kartaski and Adrian Dimitrov to 20 years while the fourth convict Anton Ivanov was sentenced to 10 years which they will all serve concurrently.

They were on Tuesday convicted of forgery and illegal access of computer data of Stanbic Bank customers.

While delivering, the judgement grade one magistrate Julius Borore said that the evidence adduced by the state was enough to convict the accused.

He added that all the circumstantial evidence adduced by the state pointed to the accused.

"The ATM camera footage exhibits given by the seventh prosecution witness and the evidence of PIN numbers which the accused had attained illegally were outstanding," Borore said.

Borore further said the accused persons forged the 33 ATM cards which contained false data with the intention of defrauding Stanbic Bank or to make everyone believe that the cards were from Stanbic Bank.

Borore disregarded the evidence which had earlier been given by the defence lawyer, Charles Opwonya in which he argued that seven ATM cards had been smuggled into the accused's car by the police officer who had searched it.

The judge found the argument wanting, stating that it was not possible or true because the car had been guarded by one of the accused right from the time the accused arrived at Nateete Stanbic bank ATM to the time it was searched.

Initially the Bulgarians were charged with 35 counts including conspiracy to commit felony.

However, court acquitted them of this count due to absence of evidence to show that the four accused conspired to commit the offence.

It is alleged that on 30th August this year while in Kampala the Bulgarians, all business men and residents of Naalya estates, tried to defraud over 30 Stanbic Bank customers through the use of fake ATM cards at Nateete branch.

They are said to have tried to fix a schemer and a card reader into the ATM machine with the intention of illegally withdrawing money, before they were eventually caught.

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