Twelve people, among them eight Kenyans and a Ugandan, have been sentenced to eight years in prison and fined RwF56 million (about KSh6 million) after being found guilty of hacking and stealing cash from a bank in Rwanda.
The eight Kenyans are part of a 12-man gang that was arrested in 2019 by the Rwandan Investigations Bureau (RIB). Regional security teams had reportedly trailed the gang linked to bank hacking attempts in Kenya and Uganda and had notified Rwandan officials of there whereabouts.
The gang was arrested while hacking into the Equity Bank accounts and stealing cash which they were channeling to Rwandans to draw out funds through Eazzy banking and ATMs.
Taarifa Rwanda, a Rwandan outlet, reports “The court tendered the verdict on the five charges; unauthorised access to computer or a computer system data; access to data with intent to commit an offence; unauthorised modification of computer or computer system data; theft; and formation of or joining a criminal association.”
The 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. The Ugandan national in the gang that also included three Rwandese is John Kibengo.
It is said that the hackers were operating with insiders to identify accounts with huge deposits across the bank’s 14 branches in the country.
The proverbial 40 days of a thief finally reached for the gang when it attempted hacking using the Eazzy banking platform. The bank and security agents had already been alerted on their operations and they were able to intercept.