Blind man convicted for Airtel Zambia hacking

Police arrest handcuffs arrested jail
Police arrest handcuffs

A Zambian court has convicted a blind man after finding him guilty of hacking Airtel Zambia’s database and siphoning mobile airtime worth thousands of dollars.

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Jairos Tembo was arrested last year after he used unknown software to access the telco’s database before committing a number of crimes including siphoning of airtime from lawmakers, ministers and business executives.

The victims of the theft include then Minister of Defence Geoffrey Bwalya, Minister of Foreign Affairs Given Lubinda and Steve Nyirenda, a business executive and proprietor of Muvi television station. The airtime he siphoned is valued at over $3,500.

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The court convicted him of seven counts of unauthorised access to Airtel’s database.

Several victims of the theft, which took place from 2011 to 2012, launched complaints with Airtel, which in turn launched investigations into the siphoning of the airtime from their mobile phones.

The affected customers also told the court that their calls had been jammed, something that they failed to understand at the time.

In convicting Tembo, magistrate Aridah Chuulu said she was satisfied with the evidence against him.

She said that investigations that were carried out revealed that Tembo was the owner of the phone number which was receiving the siphoned airtime from people’s phones.

Chuulu said the investigations also established that Tembo’s phone number which he was using to steal the airtime was not registered in his name but registered under the name of a dealer who does not exist.

“I have found you guilty of the seven charges and I accordingly convict you of the charges,” Chuulu said.

The court however, reserved sentencing to April 9, 2014. This is because Tembo has been convicted of other offences.

She said she needs to study Tembo’s previous convictions in order to sentence him.

In his defense, Tembo told the court that at the time the offences were being committed, he was in Namibia and that at some point; he was in prison over other offences he committed.

He said he was innocent of the charges brought against him.

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By Michael Malakata

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  1. Airtel sure, how can they let a blind person to hack into their customer’s accounts???
    One would expect Airtel to have tightened security of customer accounts and added extra levels of security. Shame shame …. Did any of you guys get hacked besides the prominent persons mentioned in the aerticle?

  2. He must be a genius to hack in to Airtel data base without seeing. Munyamata nimu kali. lol