Investigator: how we arrested three suspects in Safaricom Sh 300 million case

Benedict Kabugi Ndung'u, Brian Njoroge Wamatu and Simon Billy Kinuthia in court during day two of the hearing of their case. Photo/credit

An Assistant Superintendent of police attached to DCI headquarters and seconded at Safaricom fraud investigation unit has told the court how they managed to arrest three suspects who were demanding Sh 300 million from the Telco giant

Officer Peter Maina told Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo that he received a letter from the DCI boss George Kinoti instructing him and his team to investigate a matter involving data leakage.

“After receiving the letter, I instructed Sergeant Joseph Chebor who is in my team to commence investigation and be the investigating officer in that matter,” Maina told the court.

The officer testified that he later received information from Patrick Kinoti who is in charge of ethics and compliance at Safaricom that there was a man by the name Kabugi who sent him a sample of data that he believed was from Safaricom.

The officer told the court that the said Kabugi was demanding money so that he could not expose the data to the public.

“Upon receiving the information, we laid a trap and managed to arrest the said Kabugi. He was arrested on 6th June 2019 along Waiyaki way,”said officer Maina” 

The court heard that at the time of arrest, Kabugi was with one Charles Njuguna Kimani who was also arrested.

According to the officer, the two were having a conversation about the data leakage. 

“After arrest we recovered the mobile phone and laptop belonging to Kimani and also confiscated Kabugi’s phone,” the officer added.

The officer further testified that after the arrest of the two suspects, they proceeded with interrogation where they disclosed how they were getting the data.


The two allegedly told investigators that they were getting the data from two Safaricom staff identified as Billy Kinuthia and Brian Njoroge Wamatu. 

After the officers received the said information, they proceeded to arrest the two employees. 

“In order to arrest the two, Kimani kept engaging them in conversation through the phone and arranged for a meeting where they were to meet at Grill House in Kilimani area at around 7.30pm,” the officer added.

During cross examination, the court heard that Kinoti had sent Sh 50,000 to Kabugi. This was allegedly to enable the officers to nub the suspect.

The court further heard that Kabugi had filed a petition at the High Court which was later thrown out.

The officer also refuted claims by Kinuthis’s lawyer that he was assaulted at DCI headquarters after arrest. He termed the allegations as an afterthought and assured the court that the same was not true.

The two former Safaricom employees, Simon Billy Kinuthia and Brian Njoroge Wamatu are charged with computer fraud.

According to the charge sheet, on diverse dates 1st May and 7th June 2019 at the Telco offices in Westlands, Nairobi, jointly with others not before court and with intent to defraud, unlawfully copied and transferred privileged Safaricom subscribers’ data from the companies database to an unauthorized person namely charles Njuguna Kimani.

The two are also charged with demanding money by menace by demanding Sh 300 million from Safaricom with intent to steal.

Benedict Kabugi Ndung’u was charged three days later with demanding money from Safaricom.

After arrest, Kimani became part of the prosecution witnesses. 

The accused persons are out on a Sh 1 million cash bail.