In a sophisticated cybercrime plot, a 34-year-old Kenyan man, Boniface Kirui, has been charged with stealing over KSh 600,000 from two Members of Parliament (MPs) by swapping their mobile sim cards and exploiting their private information. Kirui appeared before Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina on Monday, May 8, facing eight counts of unauthorized interference with computer data, theft, and identity theft.
Prosecutors allege that on April 12, 2023, Kirui unlawfully changed the Safaricom details of Marakwet West MP Timothy Toroitich, causing unauthorized interference to his computer data. Kirui then purportedly stole KSh 547,567 from Toroitich’s Kenya Commercial Bank account. When Toroitich’s mobile line lost network and a stranger answered his personal assistant’s call to his number, the MP grew suspicious and discovered his line had been swapped.
In addition to the Safaricom funds, Kirui allegedly stole KSh 133,785 from Matungulu MP Stephen Mule between March 24 and March 26, 2023. Kirui reportedly borrowed money from various financial institutions using the MPs’ sim cards, which had been linked to their mobile money lending apps.
State prosecutor Anderson Gikunda informed the court that Kirui has a history of criminal activity and is a “regular visitor at the courts.” Kirui also faces charges for possessing identity cards belonging to six individuals unrelated to the MPs’ cases.
Sergeant Christopher Mutonyi from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is expected to testify against Kirui. The court will rule on bond terms tomorrow after Kirui pleads not guilty to all counts. This incident is part of an alarming trend, with other Kenyan MPs falling victim to similar scams in recent months.