Four businessmen have been found guilty of defrauding the judiciary Sh80 million after hacking the Judiciary Financial System.
The four are said to have hacked the Judiciary Financial system and requested the National Treasury to pay a sum of Sh80 million to imaginary firms for having supplied “air”.
They were identified as Henry Achoka, Dancun Bokela, Rueben Kirongothi and Martin Murathe, and were presented before Chief Magistrate Roselyne Oganyo for theft and forgery.
Apparently, this happened in September 2013, and Sh80,013,302 was lost in the process.
The hackers conspired with some of the judiciary workers with whom they were charged alongside, including five judiciary staffers identified as Ruth Wanjiku, Joab Ooko, Boru Guyo, Benjamin Mutuku and Benedict Abonyo.
The five judiciary staffers were however acquitted on the basis of lack of evidence.
According to Chief Magistrate Oganyo, there were no indications of prior communication between the staffers and the hackers hence no supportive evidence to prove they were part of the fraud.
The witnesses lined up for the case were 25, including former Chief Registrar of Judiciary Gladys Boss Sholei and official Treasury Kelvin Mutinda who is said to have opened Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) accounts before closing the case.
Traders Fredrick Tsofa, Ann Gathoni, Nancy Mumbi and Christine Wambugha were also acquitted although they were initially among the suspects.
This theft was discovered by CFC Bank as it made an attempt to determine if the transactions were legit.
CFC Bank Finance Director, Benedict Omollo apparently reported the fraud to the Director of Criminal Investigation after he was contacted by Jepco Cleaning Service’s proprietor Paul Rambanya claiming he received undue payment of Sh5,719,466.
Rambanya’s firm was contracted to clean Judiciary premises and upon the discovery of the theft he returned the money and reported to Omollo, the CFC Finance Director.
By the time of unraveling the theft and defrauding, the DCI Chief Inspector Melly Kirwa disclosed that 11 firms had received different amounts of money from the treasury following a fraudulent letter that requested for the cash.
The received amounts ranged from Sh2.8 million to Sh12 million and included Bonarza Agencies Limited (Sh12 million), Meerkats Limited (Sh6,661,790) and Integrated Real Estate Services (Sh7,590,000) for making supplies of nothing.
The convicts were all found guilty of handling stolen property although some were guilty of different counts of attempting to steal.
“In the same breath, I find that the prosecution successfully proved the alternative charge to count 11 of handling stolen property contrary to the law,” ruled the Chief Magistrate.
Additionally, it was established that the traders involved in the case went ahead and withdrew the said funds from their accounts without accounting for the payments that they were being made for.
Achoka, owner of Bornaza Agencies is said to have vamoosed the court proceeding on December 7, 2015 and never defended the charges leveled against him.
The hearing however proceeded without his presense, with Kirongothi, owner of Meerkats Limited fleeing to Rwanda before being arrested by Interpol at the time of judgement.