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Two University Students Arrested in Bitcoin Theft Scheme

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read

Suspected members of a notorious gang that has been hacking other people’s credit cards before using them to purchase bitcoins and convert them into Kenyan currency, have been arrested in Nakuru City.

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the gang operating from houses in the affluent Milimani neighbourhood has been on their radar over the past few days.

Francis Maina Wambui Alias Nick, 26, and Zellic Alusa, 25, both students at Kenyatta University were arrested during the raid in the company of two young women, at an apartment in the posh neighborhood.

In the sophisticated crime that is gaining currency in the country, the students create fake email accounts, which they use to hack credit cards of innocent persons, especially those living overseas, and use them to buy bitcoins that they then convert into Kenyan currency.

They then use the money to live lavishly, entertain beautiful women, and buy properties. Among the documents recovered in the house was a land sale agreement signed on 25th May, for a property valued at Ksh850,000 in Juja.

Other items seized during the raid were five laptops, four mobile phones, two Wi-Fi gadgets, three hard drives and assorted SIM cards.

Their arrest comes two days after the official opening of the DCI National Forensic Laboratory, during which President Uhuru Kenyatta called for the strengthening of the cyber and digital forensic lab to deal with contemporary crimes that involve misuse of technology.

Bitcoin is a digital currency, which operates free of any central control or the oversight of banks or governments. Tech-savvy criminals have taken advantage of this to hack into other people’s bank accounts, and buy bitcoins, leaving little or no trail.

Kenya, being one of Africa’s leading technological hubs, smart thugs have seized the opportunity to inflict heavy losses on investors.

Cyber forensic experts have since taken over investigations into the matter for a comprehensive analysis.

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