Two in court over Econet losses

Mobile firm alleges it has been defrauded of US$77,000
A LOCAL software company is alleged to have defrauded Econet Wireless of US$77,000 in June by tampering with incoming international calls to make them appear as local calls to local subscribers.

directors Herbert Rinashe and Irfaan Valera have appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, facing fraud charges.
Under normal circumstances, Econet’s international incoming calls are routed through the mobile firm’s recognised international partners. This allows Econet to monitor the origin of the incoming international calls on which the applicable termination fees are charged in foreign currency.
“This caused prejudice of US$77,000 to Econet in unlawful converted international incoming calls terminated minutes for the month of June 2007 alone . . . and nothing yet has been recovered,” a Harare Magistrates’ Court document read.
Rinashe and Valera are alleged to have sub-contracted 30 Econet contract lines from a company called GSN Rent-a-Fonie owed by a Wallbridge on the understanding that they would be put to local use.
They allegedly obtained a SIM Box or a GSM gateway, which converts international coded data received through the Internet to a normal voice call.
The two directors allegedly placed the 30 lines in the SIM box to facilitate the conversion of incoming calls which would then be received as local voice calls by the end receiver, with the calling number reflecting private.
Two weeks ago, Econet installed anti-fraud software to track down fraudsters who have been robbing the mobile telecommunication operator of millions of dollars in potential revenue. These included those who have been diverting international calls that reached Zimbabwe and manipulating them to appear as local calls, a practice known as refilling.
But Econet is not the only company affected by such fraudulent activities. Both NetOne and Telecel have in the past reported losing unspecified amounts of foreign currency to white-collar criminals.
An Econet spokesperson said they could not comment while the court case was ongoing.

Post published in: Economy

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