Two students from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) have been charged with stealing Sh24.4 million after hacking NCBA Bank systems between October 20 and October 22.
The two IT students were also accused of conspiracy to defraud the bank of over Sh190.7 million after they attempted to move it from the bank’s system.
Antony Mwangi Ngige, 23, and Ann Wambui Nyoike, 21, denied the charges before senior resident magistrate Carolyne Muthoni Njagi at the Milimani Law Courts.
The prosecution alleges that the two worked in collaboration with others who are yet to be arrested.
Interestingly, Mr.Ngige is said to have tipped off the bank of a systems hitch he had discovered on NCBA’s banking app through his twitter account.
“It is the first accused (Ngige) who initiated his prosecution process by informing bank authorities that there was a hitch in its system,” the magistrate was told by their lawyer.
The bank however, failed to respond urgently to the tweet and Mr. Ngige took it upon himself and wrote an SMS (a short text message)to the bank about the anomaly” the defense lawyer explained.
He said that Mr. Ngige was a whistleblower who had been turned into a suspect.
After receiving the SMS, the bank’s management summoned him on Saturday and once he arrived, he was again asked to report on Monday. He and Ms. Nyoike presented themselves at the bank at which point they were arrested and taken to court.
“I urge this court to release the suspects on a reasonable cash bail of Sh100,000 given that they are students and not financially able to raise a substantial amount,” the lawyer urged Ms Njagi.
The prosecuting lawyer, Ms Winnie Moraa, did not oppose the release on bond but asked for stringent measures due to the huge amounts of money involved.
Ms. Njagi directed Ngige and Nyoike to each deposit a Sh2 million bond with a surety of a similar amount or deposit a Sh500,000 cash bail each.
The case will be mentioned virtually on November 10, 2020.