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SIM card hack suspect released on bail

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An alleged Jamaican phone system hacker who is accused of pinching 10m Jamaican dollars(US$115,000) in call credit from local carrier Digicel has been released on bail.

Phillpott Martin, 26, of St Andrew, Jamaica, faces three counts of theft and one count of conspiracy to defraud over the scam. The computer science student allegedly accessed Digicel's system via another firm he was working at during at the time of the alleged hack, the Jamaican Observer here.

Illicit access to compromised systems at Digicel was used to transfer calling credit to other SIM cards. Complaints about hacking attacks against corporate networks sparked a two year investigation that resulted in a police raid on Martin's home two months ago.

Computers, seven mobile phones, financial records and J$600,000 (US$7,000) in cash was seized during the raid. The operation uncovered evidence that allowed police to charge Martin with the Digicel hack.

Initially it was thought Martin might also be of interest to investigators in the Cayman Islands and US, but after further checks revealed no outstanding warrants he was released on bail, set at $800,000 (US$9,200), at the second time of asking last Friday. ®

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