MTN Mobile Money ‘Thieves’ Granted Bail

TWO OF the five MTN Uganda employees who have been accused of stealing over Shs10bn from the company’s Mobile money system have been granted bail.

Brain Okurut a former revenue assurance analyst together with his two deputies Eria Brian were granted bail by the Anti-Corruption Court yesterday. “The accused will each execute a cash bail of Shs10m. Their sureties are each bonded at Shs500m not cash,” the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Irene Akankwasa ruled.

The accused were ordered to deposit their respective passports with court and each of their three sureties were asked to deposit photocopies of their passports and identities to ensure the accused return to court.

The two are facing the same charges with Patrick Sentongo the former Finance Manager, Joan Nabugwawo a former cashier and Angela Ayo who were first charged with the offences three weeks ago by the court’s Grade I Magistrate, Dorothy Lwanga, but denied the charges. Okurut and Eria Brian did not turn up when Ssentongo and his co-accused were first charged in court forcing the Magistrate to issue them criminal summons requiring them to appear in court and plead to the charges.

Prosecution led by Paul Lakid alleges that Ssentongo, Nabugwawo and Ayo hacked into MTN mobile money computer system and stole Shs10bn. They committed the offence between May and December 2011 at MTN offices in Kampala district. The three are also facing five counts of embezzlement, engagement in electronic fraud and conspiring to defraud MTN of the said money.

Details of the charge sheet indicate that Ssentongo is accused of five counts of embezzlement amounting to a total of Shs9.96bn in Mobile Money cash. Nabugwawo and Ayo are jointly accused of two counts each of embezzlement of MTN Mobile Money amounting to Shs3.82bn. Okurut is also accused of embezzling Shs5.846bn.

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