Obakeng Israel Bosang a former Gautrain Management Agency employee who gave outsiders access into the organisation's system so they could defraud it. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya
Obakeng Israel Bosang a former Gautrain Management Agency employee who gave outsiders access into the organisation's system so they could defraud it. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Man who tried to steal R800m from Gautrain to be sentenced soon

By BOTHO MOLOSANKWE Time of article published Feb 1, 2019

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Gautrain lost about R11-million after one of it's employees hacked the IT systems and let outsiders access it with the intention of siphoning off funds from the organisation's account.

This was revealed on Thursday at the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court during the trial of Obakeng Israel Busang. He was arrested in 2014.

He was found guilty of fraud after it was discovered that he had installed 38 key-loggers and programs designed to overcome security measures at Gautrain.

Testifying in aggravation of sentence in court on Thursday, Henry Denner- Gautrain IT Secretary Specialist- told the court that Busang had installed the malware in the company's systems. However, when it was first detected, it was not yet known it was him.

At the time of the incident, Busang was working on a temporary basis as Gautrain's IT technician and his contract was to end at the end of the month.

In order to eliminate further unauthorised access to the system, the company let Busang go immediately rather than wait for the end of the month.

As he was being escorted out, Busang did not have a chance to take his laptop which was at the time plugged onto the company's system and was being operated remotely by others.
He called his uncle and asked him to get his laptop. His uncle, however, took the laptop to the asset management office thinking it was the company's. 

When the asset manager opened it, he realised that he was not operating it alone.

"Someone was operating it remotely," Denner said.

It was also found that Busang had managed to get passwords of 38 employees.

Denner further testified that the Hawks and security specialists were called.

He said they were advised to upgrade their system and they spent R8.5m on that. 

They spent a further R1.2m on the removal of the installed malware. They also spent R30 000 changing hard drives on their laptops and office computers. 

In addition to that, the company's IT technicians had to shut down their system for a few days after the malware had been detected, resulting in R405 000 losses in revenue.

When the trial started a few years ago, Busang had pleaded not guilty.

Two days into the trial, however, he pleaded guilty.

He told the court that he had met some guys at a car-wash and they promised him money if he allowed them into the system so that they could transfer money into their accounts.

In a warning statement that Busang furnished to the police immediately after his arrest in 2014, he had said it was rage that made him let outsiders gain access into Gautrain's system because he was angry at his boss and the human resources manager.

It was alleged that the syndicate wanted to defraud Gautrain of about R800 million 

It's not  for the first time that  Busang worked with a syndicate to defraud companies.

He was alleged to have been part of the syndicate that robbed Post Bank of R42m in January 2012. The money was deposited into 103 bank accounts, he added.

Of the money, R265 000 was placed into Busang’s account. He had allegedly increased the daily limit on his account a few days before Post Bank was defrauded.

Four people were arrested, tried and sentenced for that crime, but Busang was not among them. He was never prosecuted for the Post Office fraud.

Busang is currently on a R20 000 bail and will be sentenced on April 2.

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