Matungulu MP Stephen Mule testified in a case where one Boniface Kipng’etich Kirui, 34, is accused of stealing over Sh133,785 from his M-Pesa and several bank accounts.
“Nobody is safe in this country including investors and multinational companies as hackers with immense skills in manipulating people’s bank accounts are on the loose and withdrawing huge sums of money from the accounts without their knowledge,” the lawmaker told Milimani magistrate Gilbert Shikwe on Wednesday.
Mule told the court that hackers gained unauthorized digital access to his personal information and used this information to electronically open new bank accounts and secure loans without his knowledge.
He explained that the hackers obtained his identity card number from data he had provided when visiting a health center for Covid-19-related purposes.
“These hackers are highly skilled as they accessed my information from my treatment records for corona, then accessed my M-Pesa account and then withdrew money,” he testified.
Adding: “Apart from my M-Pesa account, the hackers accessed my Timiza, Mshwari, Vooma app, my Kenya Commercial Bank, my KCB M-Pesa, Absa and Co-operative Bank accounts.”
Under the guidance of state prosecutor Juddy Koech, Mule testified that the accused individual confessed to the officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Cyber Crime Unit regarding the methods employed to perpetrate the crime.
“This accused person can only be helped if he can confess to this court as he has done to DCI officers how they carry out the criminal activities digitally,” Mule said.
The second-term lawmaker expressed his regret over the fact that educated young people are resorting to criminal activities due to the lack of employment opportunities.
During cross-examination, the accused asked the MP whether his (Kirui’s) name appeared in any of the M-Pesa or bank transactions in question.
In his response, Mule clarified that Kirui’s name did not appear in these transactions. He explained that the hackers had manipulated his national identity card electronically to establish the bank accounts. From these accounts, they withdrew money, essentially posing as him in the transactions.
Kirui has since denied charges of stealing over Sh700,000 from two MPs and was detained in prison custody until September 27, 2023, when the case is scheduled to proceed with further hearings.
The suspect’s other victim is Marakwet West MP Timothy Toroitich, who lost Sh547,567 from his KCB Bank account.