Man Jailed Over Mobile Money Sent by Mistake

A man was on Monday, June 28, sentenced to three months in jail after he refused to return Ksh16,463 which was sent to him by mistake on a mobile money app.

Cyrus Maithya pleaded guilty to the charge before Nairobi Senior Principal magistrate Martha Nazushi.

The magistrate asked the culprit to return the money to the owner but he stated that he had already used it.

Before the magistrate read the sentence, Maithya, who had been charged with two accounts of stealing, pleaded with the court to have mercy on him.

"I have two children who depend on me, please forgive me," he implored.

Section 34 of the Computer and Cyber Crimes Act, 2018 targets those who intentionally hide or hold electronic messages, electronic payments, credit and debit card details sent in error.

On the other hand, section 36 indicates that a person who unlawfully destroys or aborts any electronic email or processes through which money or information is being conveyed commits an offence.

In a similar case, a woman was jailed for six months in 2017 for using Sh27,140 that was accidentally sent to her through a mobile money app.

The sender requested Margaret Njeri to return the money but she withdrew and used it.

Further, she switched off her phone to avoid being traced.She was unable to pay the Sh40,000 fine for the offence and was taken to Embu prison to serve the sentence.