A recent operation by Police in conjunction with Botswana Prisons Service officials has recovered 33 cell phones from inmates in Serowe, Mahalapye and Gaborone Prisons.
The prison cellphone raid follows a public outcry as more and more people are swindled through money transfer services offered by one of the mobile phone giants.
In an interview with The Voice, Director Crime Intelligence Senior Assistant Commissioner, Nunu Lesetedi confirmed that police have made a breakthrough in ongoing fraud cases involving inmates working with criminals on the outside.
According to Lesetedi, police have managed to get P1 million back from the syndicate which is made up of inmates and five people outside prisons.
“During our investigations we found out that the fraudsters did their operations from prison cells with a bit of help from those outside. Majority of the inmates involved are serving sentences for murders, rape and robberies with long sentences,” he said.
Lesetedi said that what is worrisome is that even after searching and confiscating phones, some more phones still find their way into prison.
“We have assembled a team lead by four detectives to investigate thoroughly with the help of the said Mobile phone network to get to the bottom of this fraud as there is a code used. We want to know how the code was accessed.”
Lesetedi expressed concern that gullible Batswana continue to ignore police warning messages and instead choose to give confidential information to fraudsters.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent Oagile Kojane of Prisons confirmed the operation that took place at their premises.
“We can confirm that a joint operation between Prison and Police was recently conducted and some prohibited articles including cellphones were retrieved and confiscated from prisoners,” Kojane said.