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Eight Kenyans Among 12 Bank Hackers Jailed in Rwanda

Equity Bank Rwanda where hackers attempted to steal cash
Equity Bank Rwanda

Eight Kenyans are among twelve people who have been jailed after they were found guilty of cybercrime in Rwanda. The twelve were accused of hacking and stealing cash from the bank.

The twelve, also comprising three Rwandans and One Ugandan have been jailed for eight years.  The group fell into the hands of the Rwandan Investigation Bureau in October 2019 after they attempted to hack Equity Bank’s systems to steal money.

The eight Kenyans have been identified as Dedan Muchoki Muriuki, Samuel Wachira Nyuguto, Kinyua Erickson Macharia, Godfrey Gachiri Githinji, Eric Dickson Njagi Mutegi, Reuben Kirogothi Mwangi, Damaris Njeri Kamau, and Steve Maina Wambugu.

Read: Rwanda to Use Robots in the Fight Against COVID-19

They were convicted on July 2 after they were found guilty of criminal mischief or misdemeanor, change of computer information or network, access to computer information with the intention to commit a crime, unauthorized computer access, and stealing.

The group was directed to issue a 56,525,439 Rwandan Francs (Sh6 million) payment to Equity Rwanda for costs related to the crime.

This will cater for the bank’s losses amounting to Sh332,753, system review consultation fees at Sh11,111, travel and incidental expenses incurred by security experts in 2019 amounting to Sh203,000, Sh60,000 for experts’ travel tickets in 2020, Sh5 million in damages, and Sh111,1111 for attorney fees.

Read also: KCB To Solidify Footing In Rwanda, Tanzania With Acquisition of Two Local Lenders

The group is said to have crossed into Rwanda in October 2019 after agonizing banks in Kenya and Uganda.

The Kenyan suspects are said to have been on police radar for cyber-related crimes in the country amounting to millions of shillings. One of them, Kirongothi, is said to have skipped bail in a case where he had been accused of stealing Sh80 million by hacking into a Kenyan bank. Another suspect, Njagi, was also accused of stealing Sh2.7 million.

Prior to being jailed, the case in Rwanda had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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