Ugandans steal Shs. 3Bn in money heist at Zambian bank

Three Ugandans and their Zambian counterparts have been arrested in Zambian capital for breaking into the data banking system and stealing 14.3m Zambian Kwacha, which is equivalent of Shs 2.9bn.

The six suspects have been charged with money laundering and related offences according to a statement released by the Zambian drug enforcement commission’s anti-money laundering investigations unit on Friday.

“The Drug Enforcement Commission’s Anti Money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) in Lusaka has arrested three (3) Zambians and three (3) Ugandan nationals for money laundering activities involving over 14.3 million Zambian Kwacha,” said part of the statement.

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The six (6) are identified as Patrick Kafula, aged 38, Makhosana Ndolo, aged 44, Austin Daka, aged 30, of Zambian nationality, and Vincent Ssempijja, aged 29, Rashid Kyagulanyi, aged 28, and Sylvester Apuli, aged 43 of Ugandan nationality.

“The accused logged in and kept commanding transactions on the bank’s system for six months. Particulars of the offence are that between 1st January 2020 and 4th July 2020, the accused persons unlawfully possessed two (2) key USB loggers, one (1) USB flash disk and one (1) laptop containing software primarily designed to overcome security measures for the protection of data found on the core banking system,” added the statement.

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These devices enabled them to access the core banking system of the bank enabling them to transfer ZMW14,378,000.00 from eight (08) corporate accounts of the same bank and credited 79 beneficiary accounts also held at the same bank.

The six waiting to appear in court have since been charged for unlawful possession of devices primarily designed to overcome security measures for the protection of critical data, unauthorized access to data, theft and money laundering.

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When contacted on phone, Uganda Police CID Spokesman, ASP Charles Twine said they are yet to receive information from formal channels.

“I cannot confirm at the moment, but we shall establish the authenticity of that message from our mechanism of either Interpol or our embassy,” said ASP Twine.