Rwanda jails 8 Kenyans in Equity Bank hacking case

Eight Kenyans arrested in Rwanda for hacking Equity Bank have been handed
eight-year jail terms and fined Sh5.6 million.

The eight are part of a 12-man gang arrested in 2019 by the Rwandan
Investigation Bureau (RIB) that included three Rwandese nationals and a

Regional security teams had trailed the gang linked to bank hacking
attempts in Kenya and Uganda and had notified Rwandan officials when they
set up shop there.

The members of an organised group were arrested while hacking into Equity
Bank accounts and funnelling the cash to Rwandans to draw out funds through
Eazzy banking and ATMs.

“The court tendered the verdict on the five charges; unauthorised access to
s 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,” Taarifa Rwanda

The hackers operating with insiders to identify targets with huge deposits
tried to intercept the lender’s 14 branch network and wrote computer
scripts to move money to several local accounts of accomplices.

They attempted hacking using the Eazzy banking platform, which the bank and
security agents intercepted since they had been alerted on their
operations, including the recruitment of Rwandans they would use to take
cash out of the accounts.

The Rwandan convictions come in the wake of increased cybercrime activities
in the region with security experts calling for collaboration to nab
networks of cross border cartels wreaking havoc in financial institutions.

At home, Kenya’s highly digitised economy linked with mobile money through
telcos and banks has made the country a target for cybercrime and online


Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya

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