Thirteen in court over botched Rwf1bn fraud

Justice

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court in Nyamirambo, on Wednesday, started hearing a case involving three Nigerian nationals and eleven Rwandans accused of hacking into a local bank with an aim of stealing money said to be above Rwf1 billion.

The group is accused of conniving to hack into the account of Access Bank Rwanda in the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) where they stole over Rwf980m and $173,000, which was distributed amongst the suspects before the financial fraud was detected and the money reversed.

The incident, according to the bank, took place on November 27 last year.

During the hearing, the suspects appeared before the judge, including a one Olubunmi Adebisi Jaiyeula, who was the head of ICT at Access Bank Rwanda at the time of the robbery.

Jaiyeula, a Nigerian national, is currently on remand at Mageragere Prison in Nyarugenge District. Six of the suspects are out on bail.

Before the proceedings could begin, prosecution, which was represented by Sylvan Nteziryimana, lamented that one of the suspects, also a Nigerian, had jumped bail.

It was later established that the suspect, whose lawyer was present in court, has since travelled to the United Arab Emirates.

The judge, however, interjected and said that the bail awarded to the suspect did not restrain him from leaving the country and ordered for the case to proceed.

Prosecution maintained that the case cannot proceed without the accused who is not in the country, saying that there are more cases to be filed against some of the accused, arguing that the case should be enjoined for all the suspects.

A defence lawyer accused prosecution of delaying the process, adding that there were clear indications that they were not ready for trial, praying to the judge to release his clients on bail, as prosecution continue to put together their case.

This was, however, rejected by the judge.

Meanwhile, Jaiyeula, who pleads not guilty, told court that he had warned the bank beforehand of a plan to rob huge sums of money, calling for the judge to release him on bail.

According to prosecution, most of the accused were arrested while heading to their respective banks to withdraw the money that had been credited to their accounts but seemed oblivious of the notice that had been issued by the bank, which led to their arrest.

In their defence, the suspects said they do not know who sent them the money but prosecution maintains they did not alert the authorities after finding unjustifiable amount of money on their accounts.

The presiding judge ruled to maintain the present status for all the suspects until June 8, 2018 when proceedings will continue.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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