Alex Mutuku, 28, hogged news headlines in the country on Tuesday, March 21, when he was charged with hacking Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) computer systems and causing the loss of nearly Ksh4 billion.
Mutuku, who is accused of fraudulently causing the loss of Ksh3.985 billion from the taxman after allegedly interfering with the institution’s computer systems over the course of one year beginning March, 2016 to March, 2017, is a profligate, who has no reservations in his spending, touring countries at will – at least according to his posts on social media, which are often accompanied by pictorial or video evidence.
Mutuku, in his status updates, openly shows a facetious character when it comes to matters money, and in one of his updates he said: “tumia pesa ikuzoee (don’t fear spending your money, use it; and it will come in abundance)”.
In other updates, Mutuku posted photos showing him touring India, Zanzibar, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, among other countries.
The water shortage in Nairobi, which saw taps running dry in several residential areas in the county beginning early January, 2017, would bug Mutuku to an extent he would book a flight to go for vacation in foreign nations, he often claimed.
On February 2, he updated a Facebook status while departing from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), saying: “See you next week, Nairobi. Tired of water rationing.”
A week later, after returning to the country, Mutuku left again via JKIA, this time round to an undisclosed destination. He said: “Once again… See you not soon, Nairobi. This is one trip I have been looking forward to. Super excited!”
It later emerged that Mutuku had flown to India.
On February 16, posting a photo at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in India, Mutuku said: ““Time to head back home (Kenya).”
He was shocked to return to the capital Nairobi, only to find that water rationing had not yet ended. He said: “Ati there is still water rationing? My, my, my! Make me understand. Is it Nairobi Water Company workers on strike?”
The water problem in Nairobi had on January 23 ‘pushed’ him to tour Zanzibar and Tanzania.
“I cannot honestly say Zanzibar is a wrap because you need a whole two weeks or more to visit every place here. Sadly, I have to leave. This was the most amazing place I have ever visited.”
Updating a Facebook status nearly two days later, while on transit, he said: “Tanzania, it is a wrap. Awesome country. Friendly people. No water rationing. Next, Lusaka.”
WHAT IS ‘NJAANUARY’?
Mutuku, evidently a man of means, said, unlike a section of Kenyans, who complained about January being a financially dry month, he did not feel the financial bite – at all – given his ‘deep pockets’.
On February 1, he said: “Ati 60 days of Njaanuary? Hiyo ni wewe. Please February just be like Njaanuary. I am so loving 2017. Thank you God.”
Two weeks later, he traveled to Rwanda followed by Burundi.
“Rwanda is a wrap! Kigali was awesome. The view – breathtaking! I have never encountered such disciplined boda boda (operators),” he said before leaving for Burundi.
Three days later, he said: “Last day in Burundi.” Earlier on, he had posted a video in Bujumbura with a caption: “While you are busy sleeping, I am having a night swim in this neon lit pool. Amazing is the world.”
But his most memorable quote was on On December 23, 2016: when he updated his Facebook status, saying: “This Christmas I have one tip for you, my friends. Just one. Tumia pesa ikuzoee!”
Mutuku was arrested in a multiagency security operation that was conducted within Nairobi after police received information that financial institutions, among others, were losing cash through suspicious electronic transactions.
The court was told that several electronic gadgets including mobile phones, computers, hard drives, digital video recorders and servers were seized and forwarded to the cyber forensic laboratory for analysis.
The prosecution, through lawyers Edward Okello and Kadebe, also told the court that a printout of data from seized items would fill two large rooms of 30ft by 40ft.
They also claimed that data analysed so far indicates that the accused has been working with suspects outside the country hence he is a threat to national security.
The prosecution sought to have Mutuku detained for 40 days and nights, adding that he could abscond trial if released on bond and that he could interfere with the forensic analysis.
The court will rule on whether Mutuku will be released on bond on March 28, 2017.