Hackers have attempted to siphon $24 million (Ush81 billion) through the Uganda central bank in four separate incidents starting July last year.
The hackers targeted some of the biggest budget holders such as Ministries of Energy and Agriculture, Defense as well as parastatals like Uganda National Roads Authority, managing to successfully wire some of the money to Hong Kong and UAE. Funds amounting to $8 million (Ush27 billion) were retrieved through inter-bank procedures, and are in custody of Bank of Uganda
The fraud comes three years after the government instituted new financial integrity measures to seal loopholes, following the 2012 scandal in which technocrats in the Office of the Prime Minister stole in excess of USh60 billion that development partners had pooled to rebuild war-scarred northern Uganda. In July 2015, these hackers made an unsuccessful attempt to steal $12 million (Ush40 billion) and later tried again in December of the same year to siphon $2 million (Ush6.7 billion), before trying again in January this year.
The EastAfrican Reports that Bank of Uganda communications director Christine Alupo declined to give a comment conclusively about the matter stating that it is still a subject of active investigation and the bank will only offer details after the process is completed. According to the same report, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga declined to comment when asked why the UPDF had taken over the sensitive inquiries amid allegations that police was compromised.
There’s still suspicion of possible collusion and collaboration in form of password sharing of these hackers with host banks where their accounts were held as well as with government officials in the different ministries and entities whose accounts were targeted.[Source: The EastAfrican]