16 February 2017

Uganda: Court Orders Ex MTN Staff to Refund Shs5 Billion

Kampala — Court has ordered a former employee of MTN Uganda to refund Shs5 billion to the telecom firm. The money is part of more than Shs9.6 billion that was stolen from the company's mobile money system.

Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the Anti-Corruption Court also sentenced Mr Patrick Sentongo to 10 years imprisonment after convicting him on eight offences related to fraud. Judgement was passed on Tuesday.

The Court also sentenced Ms Joan Nabugwawo to a fine of Shs7.3 million or a one year's imprisonment in default.

Mr Sentongo and Ms Nabugwawo were convicted on charges of embezzlement, committing electronic fraud and conspiracy to defraud their employer, MTN Uganda Limited in connection with theft of Shs9.6 billion.

"The crime of corruption is a matter of national concern to which the court should demonstrate its disapproval by imposing custodial sentences. The convicts breached the trust bestowed upon them by their employer and stole the money they were employed to protect," ruled Justice Gidudu, adding that the loss of Shs9.6 billion is so colossal that it would bring down the financial capacity of the employer.

Court heard that between May and December 2011, the convicts while employed by MTN Uganda Limited, conspired and stole money from MTN mobile money system called FUNDAMO by creating fictitious journals and exiting the money through the MTN public access shop operated by Ms Nabugwawo and created 17 fake subscribers to receive funds and some accomplice MTN mobile money agent such as ALWAYZ Uganda.

The duo was jointly charged with three other former MTN staff, Brian Okurut, Angela Ayo and Eriya Baryamwijuka who were acquitted by Court.

According to court records, the convicted persons shared passwords and created pseudo persons on the system who transacted as a ghost person in draining the money from the adjustment for discrepancy account and accomplice MTN agents.

How money was stolen

Shs8m. Sentengo created a user on the system to steal from the money transfer account to public access shop where Nabugwawo traded

Shs67,029,000. Transferred from the money transfer account by Sentongo to public access account managed by Nabugwawo.

Shs3,759,000,000. Drained by Sentongo and Nabugwawo from mobile money system

Shs5,846,000,000. Stolen through ghost agent who made transactions that were not authorised.

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