Rwandan Court Jails Ugandan, 8 Kenyans For Years Over Fraud

Rwandan Court Jails Ugandan, 8 Kenyans For Years Over Fraud an accessible web community

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Twelve people, among them eight Kenyans, have been jailed for eight years for cyber-related crimes in Rwanda.

The group, which included three Rwandans and a Ugandan, was arrested in October 2019 by the Rwandan Investigation Bureau, while trying to hack into the Equity Bank computers to steal cash.

The Kenyans are 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.

All the 12 suspects were on July 2 convicted of criminal mischief or misdemeanour, computer access to information intended to commit a crime, change of computer information or network, unauthorised computer access and stealing.

Officials said the group had crossed the border into Rwanda in October 2019 after tormenting banks in Uganda and Kenya.

They were also directed to collectively reimburse Equity Rwanda 56,525,439 Rwandan Francs (Sh6 million) for costs related to the crime.

The money includes Sh332,753 for Equity Bank losses, Sh11,111 for system review by a consultant, Sh203,000 for travel and incidental expenses of system security experts in 2019, Sh60,000 for experts’ travel tickets in 2020, Sh5 million for damages and Sh111,1111 for attorney fees.

The case had previously been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Officials aware of the proceedings said the Kenyan suspects have been on the radar of police for cyber-related crimes within the country involving millions of shillings.

Kirongothi skipped bail in a court case where he was accused of stealing Sh80 million by hacking into a Kenyan bank while Njagi stole Sh2.7 million similarly.

Gachiri had also been accused of electronically stealing Sh21.5 million in 2016 from Sidian Bank, then K-Rep Bank, though the charges were later dropped after the money was recovered.

In other separate cases, two Kenyan suspects were released from Rwandan jails after serving time for various crimes. Charles Kinuthia, was released on June 16, 2021, after serving two years for fraud and paying a fine of 3 million Rwandan Francs (Sh332,000).

Asman Macharia, who had been convicted for human trafficking in 2016, was released on  June 20 after a five-year jail term and a fine of 10 million Rwandan Francs (Sh1.2 million).

Macharia is still under Rwandan custody until he completes paying the fine, despite a plea to pay it within a one-year period while in Kenya.

The Rwandan convictions come in the wake of increased cyber-crime activities buoyed by rapid information technology infrastructure development in the country and the region. an accessible web community

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