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Uganda Revenue Authority hackers jailed 12 years

Two people were on Wednesday found guilty of hacking into Uganda Revenue Authority’s computer systems last year. Gaster Nsubuga, a former employee of Cargo Supplies Limited, and Robinhood Byamukama, a former employee of URA, were sentenced to 12 years in prison after their hacking scam led to the disappearance of crucial tax files.

The two were convicted on five counts: unauthorized use and interception of computer services, electronic fraud, unauthorized access to URA data, and producing or selling devices or computer programmes designed to overcome security measures for data protection. They also faced a charge of unauthorized access to customs computerized system contrary to section 191 of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004.

Mary Kamuli Kuteesa, who led the prosecution team, presented 25 witnesses, who proved beyond reasonable doubt that the two hacked into computers databases and servers and updated data on URA motorcycles registration and over 200 vehicles were cleared fraudulently.
The head of the Anti-corruption court, Justice Paul Mugamba, ruled that although the convicts had expressed remorse over their acts, they placed the credibility of URA under question not only locally but also internationally. For that, he said the two needed to be taught a lesson.

Justice Mugamba further fined each convict $45,000 for abusing the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004. The prosecution, however, failed to prove that convicts caused a loss of over Shs 20bn to URA. Earlier, the Judge had acquitted Patrick Owora, Richard Kibalama,  and Farouq Mugere who were facing similar charges, on grounds that the prosecution’s witnesses failed to prove that the three were involved in the racket.


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