The alleged Kenya Revenue Authority hacker who directly caused the loss of KSh 4 billion has appeared in court.
Alex Mutungi Mutuku is accused of fraudulently causing the huge loss by interfering with the authority’s computer system between March 2015 and March 2017.
He denied the charge of electronic fraud when he was presented before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi as he appealed to be freed on bond.
The prosecution, however, requested for the man to be detained for 40 days so they could build their case.
The court was told that several electronic gadgets including mobile phones, computers, servers, hard drives, and digital video recorders were seized and taken to the cyber forensic laboratory for analysis.
”Due to the slow pace of extracting information per gadget which is not less than five hours, to provide quality evidence, we need at least 40 running days and nights to generate a forensic report,” the prosecution said.
Prosecution lawyers Edward Okello and Eddie Kadebe also told the court that the data analyzed so far indicates that Mr. Mutuku has been working with suspects outside the country, making him a national security threat.
They urged the court to detain him, claiming that he could interfere with the servers remotely through an external source.
”He travels a lot and frequently, he seems to walk in and out of Tanzania. He has visited India, Uganda as well as Burundi. He is a frequent traveler and the likelihood of him running away is real.”
Mutuku’s lawyer Tacey Makori protested against the prosecution request saying that in the 14 days the man had been in custody, the police had not shown evidence of what had been gathered.
She further claimed that the police have not ruled out the possibility of intruders accessing the seized gadgets before she termed the KSh 4 billion figure as ”ridiculous”.
”The charge which implies the loss is exaggerated. How that figure was reached is unclear because the forensic report has not been produced, it is merely meant to hoodwink the court.”
The 28-year-old IT expert was arrested after a multi-agency security operation was conducted within Nairobi and after the police received information that financial institutions were losing cash through suspicious electronic transactions.
The alleged Kenya Revenue Authority hacker will find out his fate next week whether he will be detained for 40 days or be freed on bond.