26 arrested for forging MTN recharge cards

Twenty six people have since April 2007 been arrested for allegedly forging MTN airtimes cards, The NewTimes has learnt. The suspects are being detained in various detention in Kigali as investigations continue.
One of the MTN Rwanda staff sensitizing clients.
One of the MTN Rwanda staff sensitizing clients.

Twenty six people have since April 2007 been arrested for allegedly forging MTN airtimes cards, The NewTimes has learnt. The suspects are being detained in various detention in Kigali as investigations continue.

A highly placed source from MTN, a mobile telecommunication company, says the suspects had been trailed for months before they were apprehended.

According to the source, after the clients have loaded airtime, the suspects together with their accomplices pick the used cards and deliver them to their contacts in Uganda where the scam is hatched.

“In Uganda, the suspects would re-seal the used airtime cards and then resend them to Kigali to be distributed,” the source explained.

“Most of the suspects arrested are the ring leaders. They are helping us to get to the root cause of the problem and how the entire process goes,” the source added.

The scam was unearthed after a number of complaints approached MTN management over the matter.

According to our sources, other suspects are on the run. And police have alerted their counterparts in Uganda to arrest them. When contacted for a comment, Peter Kigame, the MTN’s security manager confirmed what our source said.

“We are working with Uganda’s security people to stamp out the scam,” Kigame said on Wednesday at his office in Nyarutarama.

The source has revealed that the telecommunication giant has so far lost airtime worth between Rwf 4million to Rwf 6million. Some documents available indicate that, one client, Margarithe Musabende, filed her complaint to MTN head offices in Nyarutarama after she bought forged airtime cards.

In a recorded exhibit sample number 075, Musabende reportedly bought airtime cards worth Rwf23,600. However, on cross-checking it was discovered that the airtime cards had been tampered with.

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