Airtel Kenya reveals $6.7million loss in employee mobile money fraud

The revelation comes after two Safaricom staff in Kenya were charged with attempted fraud of more than Ksh300 million.
A picture taken on February 17, 2015 shows the headquarters of Kenya’s Airtel, one of the leading phone, internet and money transfer company in the country. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

In one of the biggest inside- job corporate thefts in recent history, Airtel Kenya lost $6.7 million through its mobile money transfer platform last year.

This has been revealed in a prospectus of the telecom’s parent firm, Airtel Africa which shows that only Ksh86 million of the amount lost was recovered through insurance.

“In 2018, incidents of cash control frauds were identified in the Airtel Money operations in Kenya, which involved circumvention of its controls by Airtel Money employees and resulted in loss of $6.7 million,” Airtel Africa says.

The company says that while it has introduced stringent controls to check fraud, risks posed by employees cannot be completely eliminated.

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Some of the measures in place, the telecom says, include daily reconciliations, separation of duties, and technical restrictions on funds transfer to non-Airtel bank accounts.

It adds that administrative or technical errors could result in losses for customers for which it may be liable for fraud and problems related to inadequately securing its payment systems.

The revelation comes barely a fortnight after two Safaricom staff in Kenya were charged in court with attempted fraud of more than Ksh300 million.

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