MTN Beeg fraud suspects formally arrested
TELECOMSBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Etisalat claims 50% of MNP movesNCC says there is no data yet on ported numbers in Nigeria, but Etisalat claims 50% of ported lines are now on its network. Read More
Rwandan mobile penetration nears 60%Mobile penetration in Rwanda passed 59.5% last month, according to the latest statistics issued by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA). Read More
Telkom Kenya signs tower management partnership with Eaton TowersTelkom Kenya has signed an agreement with Eaton Towers for the management of its passive network infrastructure. Read More
Millicom to pump USD80m into Tigo RwandaMillicom says it will invest USD80 million in Tigo in the next five years. Read More
Main One targets manufacturing sectorMain One is targeting the manufacturing sector, with new connectivity products specifically for FMCG and manufacturing firms in Nigeria. Read More
SEACOM: clear fibre red tapeSEACOM says telecommunications regulators and African governments need to clear away the red tape and regulatory risks around putting fibre in the ground. Read More
MTN: inadequate backhaul holds back West AfricaWest Africa still has to overcome massive challenges to fully integrate into the digital age, MTN has told the Connecting West Africa conference in Dakar, Senegal. Read More
Sim reg: MTN commits to working within govt time frameMTN Nigeria says it is committed to working with the NCC on the June 30th timeline for the official end to SIM registration in the country. Read More
Etisalat hopeful of Saka’s returnEtisalat is hopeful that one of its former artistes, popularly known as Saka, will return to its stable. Read More
MTN Cameroon employees renew commitment to educationMTN Cameroon is focusing on education in its seventh edition of the ‘21 Days of Y’ello Care’ programme. Read More
FEATURED STORYAirtime transfer big business in Ivory Coast
Airtime transferred direct to mobile is proving popular among consumers and is generating jobs in Ivory Coast.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica must think beyond blue collar jobs
Pan-African job creation initiatives need to look beyond basic job creation, to high level ICT skills development, to develop the economies, says Greg Vercellotti, executive director at Dariel Solutions.