A Standard Group staffer Erickson Macharia has been identified as one of the eight Kenyans that were recently arrested in neighbouring country Rwanda for attempting to hack Equity Bank.
Eric Merchant, as he is famously known among his colleagues and friends, worked at KTN’s technical department before his arrest on October 25.
A source intimated to this desk that Erickson travelled to Rwanda on October 21 and asked for more days off and has never reported to work ever since.
Standard Group staffer Erickson Macharia [Photo/Courtesy]This writer understands that efforts are underway for KTN to air the story on the identity of the eight individuals as shared by the Rwandan authorities in its 7PM and 9PM news bulletins without identifying Erickson as its employee. This is in a bid to protect the Standard Group’s image.
According to details on his LinkedIn profile, Erickson has previously worked at Family Media and at Ebru TV as a Studio Technical Operator.
The names of other Kenyans detained in Rwanda are Samuel Wachira Nyuguto, Eric Dickson Njagi Mutegi, Dedan Muchoki Muriuki, Godfrey Gachiri Githinji, Reuben Kirongothi Mwangi, Steve Maina Wambugu and Damaris Njeri Kamau.
The suspects were arrested alongside three Rwandans and one Ugandan by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB).
“This group was arrested while in the process of hacking into the bank system to steal money from clients’ accounts,” RIB said in a tweet dated November 1.
RIB said the group fled to Rwanda after successfully defrauding Equity Bank in Kenya and Rwanda.
Two of the individuals, Mwangi and Mutegi, have pending cases in Kenya in which they are charged with computer fraud on two banks.
Mwangi, a former employee of a local bank failed to appear in court on November 1 following his arrest in Rwanda.
He was charged alongside two other suspects identified as Rodney Ochola Otieno and Evans Midumbi Ochieng
Mutegi has an ongoing case on an attack at Spire Bank in 2017 while the third suspect Githinji was arrested in connection with computer Fraud at K-rep Bank now Sidian bank of Ksh21.5 million.
The Rwandans in custody are Eric Ngabitsinze, Julius Kayitana, Fabric Amini, Robert Kagabo, Seth Kabera, Mediatrice Uwingeneye, David Rutaboba, Jean Claude Dukundimana, Eliah Shyaka, Jean Claude Nkuranga and Serah Kankunda while the Ugandan has been identified as John Kibengo.
This group was arrested while in the process of hacking into the bank system to steal money from clients' accounts.
— Rwanda Investigation Bureau (@RIB_Rw) October 31, 2019
The suspects were probed and the case file submitted to the state prosecution for further action.
“The case file was compiled and submitted to the @ProsecutionRw for further management, ” RIB added.
Cases of Equity Bank customers losing money in their accounts have been on the rise in the recent past.
Last month detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched a probe into an incident where a granny was defrauded Ksh2 million.
The 73-year-old woman identified as Faith Wanjiku had her monies siphoned in a series of transactions via the Eazzy Pay app.
Three suspects were arrested and charged with fraud.