A Kabwe Magistrate’s Court has fined a 28-year-old man K5,000 or eight months simple imprisonment for hacking into Airtel Zambia network to reroute international calls.

Chanda Chiti of Highridge Township in Kabwe pleaded guilty to one count of securing access to an electronic communication network contrary to section 77 (2) (d) of the Information and Communication Technologies Act.

Facts before Magistrate Pumulo Mubita yesterday were that Chiti used an electronic gadget known as simbox to intercept international calls on Airtel network and bill them at the local rate.

The court heard that his action between January and March last year resulted in the loss of more than US $24,000 by the mobile phone company.

Airtel Zambia had reported to the police on April 8, 2016 that it had lost more than US $24,000 in phone call re-routing between January and March 2016.

The ideal situation is that Airtel bills the other mobile service provider making an international call for using its network and part of the charge is paid to the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA).

However, the court heard that Chiti had procured more than 1,000 simcards from an Airtel agent and inserted them into the prohibited simbox which is also known as simfarm machine to hide international calls received on Airtel network.

This meant that Airtel could not bill the other networks as the international calls were disguised as domestic calls.

Police investigations led to the arrest of Mary Mupeta a sales agent who had sold more than 1,000 simcards to Chiti.

Officers also recovered one simbox in Mukobeko area which was not operational but all the electronic gadgets including his personal laptop were taken to ZICTA for examination.

In mitigation, Chiti, the father of two, begged for the court’s leniency, saying he regretted his action and that he had recently lost his mother.

Magistrate Mubita said she had taken into consideration the mitigation and sentenced him accordingly.

Mupeta, the sales agent who had sold the simcards to Chiti was also recently fined K2,000 after pleading guilty to unauthorized access to interception of or interference with data

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19 COMMENTS

  1. I dont expect thick UPND Cadres to comment on this Techno issue as they are occupied with the ConCourt

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    • What comment do you need from us? Does it make sense to you fine someone K5 000 after robbing the company K240, 000? How can he struggle paying that amount? Such crooks deserve jail time not simple fines.

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    • @Ba Chibwe, I agree with you. This is beyond UPND. The best they will come up with in Bembe thief songs.

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    • But no one has done anything to these mobile phone service providers cause they are always stealing from us through high calling rate charges!

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  2. There was a magistrate in Kitwe called Clyne, if this case was before him, he was not going to fine the chap. He was going to interview this guy and probably find a way to boost his ingenuity. The guy though “criminal ” is brilliant.

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    • My ex-school mate, Charles Mukwana, became a Magistrate, and, before I left Zambia 22 years ago, I used to follow his court cases in the newspapers. Curiously, if a chap broke into a house and stole meat from a pot in the kitchen and was later arrested, Mukwana would sentence this chap to a lengthy jail term. On the other hand, if a chap broke through the encrypted combination of a banking system and stole a million or so, Mukwana would be more lenient on this crook. One day I met up with the Magistrate and asked him about this discrepancy in sentencing; his response was that a chap who would take the risk of breaking into a house, just to steal food, is a nincompoop, and should be removed from society. On the other hand, a guy who could cleverly work out how to rob a sophisticated bank,…

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  3. Hacking in Zed is cheap ha? Or is it categorized e.g. you get a bigger fine if you hack into a banking system???

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  4. Airtel, Zabwino Palibe or ZICTA should employee this guy as a telecoms fraud specialist. He is just too sharp for Zambia, chances are that his arrest was based on some jealous chap who reported him. I don’t think Zambian cops can crack such a fraud…….

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  5. He is intelligent, after all he did that to help Zambians who are being over charged by these companies. He deserves a merit.

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  6. He could have gone free. Very few judges and lawyers (if there are any) in Zambia understands cyber crimes. This is a joke

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  7. This is what happens when you have a small penis president who cannot ensure affordable costs of living for majority. People are forced to take matters in their own hands. The pf have failed us. We call for lungus impeachment

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  8. BaNEZ bakamba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are all bitter we lost elections. but insulting the President is beyond civility. BaLT remove NEZ’s insults. One can express his/her displeasure without insulting. Lungu is a President of all until 2021. either you like or not. Live with with it and make good of the situation. It was the people’s choice either by hook or crook. Grow up baane.

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  9. LT how effective is your detecting system. You have to improve it otherwise you risk being shut down. Be warned.

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  10. Achimwene still do have morals both in the Judiciary and in politics which are foreign to our country where dogs have gone into both the Judiciary and politics or vive versa.

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