Two university students have been charged with stealing Sh24.4 million from NCBA bank and conspiracy to defraud it of another Sh190 million.
Mr Anthony Mwangi Ngige, 23 and Ms Ann Wambui Nyoike, 21—both IT students at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) are accused of hacking into the lender’s mobile money platform.
The prosecution told Senior Resident Magistrate Carolyne Muthoni Njagi that the two conspired to steal Sh24.4million from the bank’s head office branch at Upper Hill, Nairobi between October 20 and 22.
They are also accused of conspiring to defraud the lender of Sh190,767,195 with others who are yet to be apprehended, at an unknown place within Kenya.
Defence lawyers, however denied the claims saying it is the suspects who actually reported “a hitch” on the banks mobile money systems.
The magistrate heard, “It is the first accused (Ngige) who initiated his prosecution process by informing the bank authorities that there was a system hitch in its systems.”
“The current cases stem from the communication relayed to the bank by Ngige regarding its systems,” a defence lawyer told the court.
He added: “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.
Prosecuting counsel Ms Winnie Moraa did not object the release of the accused on bond but asked the court to consider the colossal amount involved.
Ms Njagi set the bond at Sh2 million for each with one surety or similar amount or a cash bail of Sh500,000 each.
The case will be mentioned on November 10 for pre-trial directions.