Alex Mutungi Mutuku is an Information technology (IT) expert who was charged with facilitating the theft of Ksh4 billion from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) by h****g their systems. He was arrested on March 7, 2017.
Mutuku was nabbed after security organs launched a multi-agency operation in Nairobi. Following his arrest, the court was told that several electronic gadgets, including mobile phones, computers, hard drives and servers were seized and forwarded to the cyber forensic laboratory for analysis.
The University of Nairobi information systems graduate easily goes down as one of the most notorious cyber criminals in the country. He has been charged multiple times for allegedly ‘h****g and stealing’ from state agencies and corporates.
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According to a report by Business Today, Mutuku and eight others were arrested in connection with hacking and stealing from state agencies including the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Saccos.
Mutuku and Stanley Kimeu Mutua were also accused of h****g NIC bank and stealing Ksh2.8 million. They are also said to have threatened to expose the lender lest they be paid Ksh6.2 million in Bitcoin.
He would later be arrested and charged for allegedly interfering with Safaricom’s systems and stealing airtime worth a reported Ksh20,000. He denied the charges, claiming that he was targeted as a suspect because of the NIC case.
“I was arrested in early January (2015) for allegedly h****g into NIC Bank. The case is ongoing. Now when Safaricom was h***d and it found that I, like other subscribers, had bought the stolen airtime without knowing, they were very quick to arraign me,” Mutuku said in an interview with Business Daily in April 2015.
After the interview with Business Daily, he proceeded to hack Nation Media Group (NMG)’s e-paper and found a way to access the digital newspaper for free. The media house reportedly pulled down the interview.
Mutuku has been described by many as a sharp Kenyan brain serving the wrong purpose. He attended Kathiani High School and scored an A in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams. He later joined Nairobi University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in information systems and graduated in 2012.
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“I know how to code in most languages. Java, C++, Web languages like PhP,” he said.
He loved life on the fast lane and never shied from showcasing his extravagant lifestyle through social media posts. At the slightest craving, he toured countries of his choice. Going by his social media posts, Mutuku had toured India, Zanzibar, Burundi, Rwanda, Kampala, Tanzania, among other countries.
With an active online presence, he always told his fans the reasons for his trips, as petty as they could sound. At one time, she shared that he was leaving for a trip in Zanzibar because of the water rationing in Nairobi.
Following the multiple accusations of financial crimes, Mutuku’s extravagant lifestyle caught the attention of security agencies. They sought him to explain the source of the money that bankrolls his foreign trips and high-end life.
Then State prosecutor Edwin Okello stated that the IT expert was part of a group of h****rs with access to high-tech equipment and software which enabled them to steal from corporations.
“It is a case of remote control h*****g where the suspects operate smoothly with their machines and the next minute you realise you have no money in your account.
“The information we have is just a tip of the iceberg. The racket is big and involves people outside the country,” Okello told the Standard.
At the time of Mutuku’s arrest, police also linked him to five vehicles; a Toyota saloon registration KBX, a Toyota station wagon KBN, a Toyota van KAY, another station wagon KBV and a Land Cruiser KBY.
Friends of Mutuku who spoke to the media on conditions of anonymity stated that they knew him as a professional software dealer who was on several occasions contracted by companies to conduct penetration tests on their systems.
Penetration tests are security measures carried out often through hacking systems to determine weakness and fixing them.
“I have been friends with him for several years and all I know is that he is an IT guru and can fix a problem with computers in a flash,” said a source.
“He also develops and sells mobile applications which are hosted on Google Play.”
On June 16, 2015, Mutuku allegedly attempted suicide by slitting his wrists, claiming that “Delvine”, a woman he had been dating, had cheated on him. It is not clear whether he got engaged or even got married.
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