Over 50 telecom agents and records officials were arrested from various companies over the recent hacking of Pegasus, a third party aggregator in financial transactions run by MTN, Airtel, Stanbic bank and Bank of Africa.
The operation that was carried out by the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) followed the hacking of the Pegasus Technologies system on October 3rd 2020 that saw transactions worth 10 billion shillings authorized to more than 2,000 MTN and Airtel simcards.
In the aftermath of this occurrence, Pegasus filed a case at Jinja road police station but also alerted the cyber unit at CID headquarters in Kibuli.
A senior police officer and one of the lead investigators told Uganda Radio Network (URN), a local news outlet, that they have so far picked more than 50 telecom agents and records officials from companies on whose simcard’s money was transferred and later withdrawn.
“These telecom agents participated in registering numerous systems in the names of these companies that had not authorized for such a process. Some of the agents helped the suspected the hackers to withdraw the money before authorized access to Pegasus systems was detected,” a senior cyber officer said.
Detectives have since established that simcards registered in unaware companies are now 1800 as opposed to 1500 previously reported. Several of the simcards were registered in individuals mostly foreigners with names of two or three letters.
CID has obtained CCTV footage showing some of the suspects from companies and agents registering simcards in big numbers. CCTV footage also shows money being withdrawn at telecom agents that participated in fraudulent registration of simcards.