MTN Beeg fraud suspects formally arrested
TELECOMS| May 24, 2012, 10:39 a.m.
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
The Drug Enforcement Commission and the Zambia Police Service have formally arrested charged two people at the centre of embarrassing allegations that the winner of the MTN Zambia win Beeg competition was faked.
The MTN Zambia IT specialist Jones Ilukena is accused of having manipulated the computer system to make his girlfriend Namuchana Simuna winner of the competition. Since last month, police and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) have been investigating the alleged fraud against the winner of the promotion Simuna and the MTN IT specialist Ilukena.
The police have now formally arrested and charged the two with fraud and money laundering offences.
DEC public relations officer Samuel Silomba said Simuna of Livingstone, the alleged winner of K1 billion promotion, has been arrested and jointly charged with Ilukena, the MTN employee of Lusaka.
Silomba said it is also believed that Ilukena, Simuna and other persons unknown cheated by purporting that Simuna was a genuine winner of the promotion when, in fact, the outcome had been predetermined in her favour by Ilikena's manipulating the MTN IT system.
“Ilukena is alleged to have intentionally and without authority interfered with data of MTN Summer Campaign WIN BEEG promotion by virtual of his position, contrary to Section 99 (2) of the Electronic Communications Act no. 21 of 2009,” Silomba said.
The DEC has further seized all property believed to have been bought using the money from the promotion.
Silomba said the DEC has also arrested and charged Richard Kawana, a Teacher of Mulwani Basic School in Livingstone, for money laundering related offences. Ilukena and Simuna are alleged to have purchased a house using the money from the promotion at K320 million, which they registered under Kawana’s name.
Silomba said Simuna further acquired three houses in Livingstone at a total cost of K330 million, as well as a Toyota motor vehicle.
In trying to recover from its damaged reputation and embarrassment, MTN Zambia has announced that it will rerun the promotion using the same database in order to get a genuine winner. The date for the rerun of the promotion has not yet been made known.
Ilukena is still suspended from MTN.
The Zambian police have threatened to start monitoring promotions by mobile phone companies in Zambia in future, in order to prevent a repeat of the MTN scandal.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Employees voice concern over IPODaggers have been drawn between the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) employees and the management over an alleged lack of consultation on the Initial Public Offer. Read More
Local firms reap rewards of BOFINET tenderA multi-million dollar tender issued by Botswana Fibre Networks (BOFINET) will benefit a handful of local ICT and construction organisations. Read More
Vodafone Ghana wins two CIMG awardsVodafone Ghana has been adjudged the Telecommunications Company of the Year 2013, while its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, HealthLine, picked the TV Programme of the Year 2013 award at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Awards held in Accra. Read More
Gabon, World Bank sign US$58 million-fibre optic agreementGabon and the World Bank have signed a US$58 million agreement that will clear the way for the construction of a major fibre optic infrastructure to link the country’s five provinces and cross over to the Republic of Congo. Read More
Operators to suffer $14bn in lost revenues this yearA new report has found that voice and messaging traffic lost to OTT (Over The Top) players such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype will cost network operators $14 billion in revenues globally this year. Read More
Wiko eyes 10% market shareNew entrant to Nigeria’s mobile phone industry and French firm, Wiko Mobile, says it is targeting 10 per cent of Nigeria’s market. Read More
TeliaSonera International Carrier strengthens connectivity in Western AfricaTeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) and Angola Cables have announced an IP Transit agreement that will enhance regional connectivity to TSIC’s customer base along the West African coast using Angola Cables’ significant submarine cable assets. Read More
We’ve built West Africa's strongest aerial fibre, says Phase 3 chiefThe Chief Executive Officer of Phase 3 Telecom, Mr. Stanley Jegede, says the firm has invested massively in building a very robust aerial fibre network to improve connectivity across the country and the entire West African sub-region. Read More
Orange launches reward scheme for corporate clientsOrange has introduced a loyalty programme for its corporate clients, dubbed Corporate Ziada. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.