28-year old Alex Mutungi Mutuku has been arraigned in Kenyan courts for allegedly hacking into the country’s tax collection authority, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). Mutuku is being accused to be made away with Ksh. 4 billion from the tax authority.
Investigators allege that Mutuku is part of a wider and deep-rooted syndicate with links outside the country. The State Prosecutor Edwin Okello says the syndicate operates using high-tech equipment and software and has stolen from a number of corporations including the KRA.
“It is a case of remote control hacking where the suspects operate smoothly with their machines and next minute you realize you have no money in your account. The information we have is just a tip of the iceberg. The rackets is big and involves people outside the country,” said, Okello.
The charge being leveled against Mutuku says he (and team) was responsible for the loss of about Ksh. 4 billion from the KRA by hacking into the institution’s computer system between March 2015 and March 2017.
The State Prosecutor pleaded with the magistrate not to grant bail to the suspect for at least 40 days, to allow detectives to conclude on their investigations. The State Prosecutor Mr. Okello cited the frequent foreign trips the suspect has been having as a reason not to grant him bail, saying he is likely to make a run for it to one of them.
“His passport shows that he is a person who is able to walk in and out of Tanzania at will and has been visiting Uganda, Burundi, and India. He is a frequent traveler outside the country, which makes him likely to abscond court if released on bail.”
The suspect’s lawyer, Tacey Makori objected to the denial of bond to Mutuku arguing her client has already been in police custody for 14 days and should now be released. Makori further argues that the charges leveled against her client were fictitious and a diversionary tactic by the public institution to hoodwink the public.
Despite the spirited fight by Mutuku’s lawyer, the Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ordered the suspected by detained until March 28th.