country’s communication system leading to losses worth Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh.) 221,163,600 (approx USD 95,000) for the government.
The suspect was among 11 persons rounded up (Dec 2022) by Dares Salaam Special Zone Police Force for committing cyber-crime. The Chinese national was allegedly found sending unofficial devices to connect people by phone to communicate abroad against the extant laws of Tanzanian telecommunications authority.
In all, 23 cell phones, 437 telephone lines of various telecom service providers with different registration, six computers, five SIM boxes, three routers and one power bank were seized.
It is learnt that eight other locals were also involved in the crime, including setting up social media accounts for propagating false information about Tanzanian President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan and other senior government officials. The suspects were allegedly also posting fake and misleading information on online local television channels.
The incident involving Chinese nationals in Tanzania seems part of the global threat posed by Chinese cyber criminals. Earlier, APT41, a hackers’ group linked to the Chinese government and based out of Chengdu,
embezzled (Dec 2022) about USD 20 million from US Covid relief benefits including unemployment insurance funds and Small Business Administration loans.
Chinese hackers are apparently active around the world, stealing huge amounts by means of instant lending apps, fake websites, crypto-currency apps, part-time job offers and bogus cryptocurrency trading platforms. As cyber technologies empower China to blur boundaries between nation-states and unleash individual threat actors, Beijing seems keen to leverage their nefarious aspects to fuel its materialistic ambitions, particularly targeting the weak and ignorant.