Zimbabwe Telco Insiders Accused of Using Mobile Money to Steal $69k

Two employees of Econet Zimbabwe have been accused of using the telco’s EcoCash mobile money service to steal ZWL20mn (USD55,000) from their employer, reports The Manica Post. At the initial hearing the accused, Mukai Maringe Mapanzure and Trymore Chimonyo, were both charged with fraud and released on bail, pending a return to court on June 30th.

Prosecution lawyer Timothy Katsande said that Mapanzure had used an ingenious method to steal from Econet over a three month period.

In his capacity as an employee with the ability to access the company’s merchant mobile broadband merchant number 0784953460, Mapanzure created a sim card for Econet’s merchant number and processed a private identification number to access the account.

Mapanzure then created numbers for two fictitious agents and used the EcoCash service to send them a total of ZWL5,186,000 (USD14,300) from the SIM associated with the merchant account. He also used the merchant account to send ZWL19,984,475 (USD55,200) to three other agent accounts that were then accessed by Chimonyo, an employee working at an Econet branch in Checheche, near to Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique. Chimonyo is then alleged to have changed the money into foreign currency before giving Mapanzure his cut of the proceeds.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.