Primrose Nyeri Mwangi stealing $120 Million in Zimbabwe

A Kenyan businesswoman is accused of hacking into Zimbabwean government institutions and diverting $120 million. 

Primrose Nyeri Mwangi, who is from Kenya and is 40 years old, is accused of breaking into the computer systems of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) and stealing $120 million from the institution's bank deposits. She has been convicted of fraud in a court in Harare for her actions.

If proven guilty, Mwangi, who is also the director of Primkett Travels, might be sentenced to a substantial amount of time in jail.

The indictment alleges that Mwangi collaborated with a group of other individuals to gain access to Zimdef's computer networks and use authorization codes to transfer large sums of money to their accounts. This was done with the intent to defraud Zimdef.

The prosecution made its case on Tuesday, January 10, according to Zimbabwean news outlets. 

They claimed that between December 1 and December 29 of last year, Mwangi partnered up with Gerald Pondai, Prosper Hove, and some other members of their criminal enterprise to obtain access to the files and data systems of Zimdef and, as a result, to the accounts that Zimdef held at ZB Bank and CBZ.

Because the National Building Society decided not to complete one of the transactions, the only money that has been found so far is $30,000 of the total amount that was taken.

On December 28th, a whistle-blower informed Zimdef about the deceit, which led to the discovery of the scam.

According to the data kept by the banks, a total of $120 million was fraudulently transferred out of the accounts held at CBZ Bank and Zimdef ZB Bank, with just $30,000 being returned as a result of the rejected transaction.

Mwangi is arrested on charges of violating the terms of her visitor's entry certificate, which only permitted her to come into the country as a tourist for one month between the 14th of December and the 14th of January. 

This is in addition to the charges of fraud that are being brought against her.

It is not yet clear how Mwangi and her co-conspirators were able to connect the Zimdef systems or how they were able to use the access control codes to transfer the funds. 

Likewise, it is not yet clear how they were able to use the authorization codes. 

The inquiry is still underway, and as a result, it is anticipated that further facts may become available.

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