Mozambique: Police Arrest Forgers of Mobile Phone Prepaid Cards

Maputo — The Mozambican police have announced the arrest of three computer and electronic engineers working for the mobile phone company Vodacom, who are accused of forging the company’s prepaid airtime cards.

According to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”, the three are all Mozambican citizens, named by the police as Oldino, Evecto and Nhassengo. All worked at the Vodacom head office in Maputo.

They are accused of forging pre-paid cards with the face values of 100 meticais (3.4 US dollars), 200 meticais and 500 meticais. These cards were then sold on a parallel, informal retail network that the forgers had set up.

This sophisticated forgery has been going on for some time, and must have cost Vodacom many millions of meticais. The police believe that more people must have been involved, both inside and outside the company, and they are trying to identify them all.

The police also announced the arrest in the southern city of Matola of a 29 year old man, named only as Jorge, on charges of forging Mozambican banknotes.

He was caught thanks to denunciations by local people. At his home, the police seized three of the forged banknotes, plus the computer and printer that had been used to produce the forgeries. The notes seized had the face values of 200, 500 and 1,000 meticais.

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