CHINESE NATIONALS CHARGED FOR OPERATING CYBER HUB ILLEGALLY.

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Thirty three Chinese nationals at Milimani law courts where they were charged with three counts. They all pleaded not guilty.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Thirty three Chinese nationals who were nabbed last week by police at Nairobi’s Runda estate has been charged before a Nairobi magistrate for operating a cyber-hub.
They are claimed to have been operating a cyber-hub from three houses in Nairobi’s up market Runda estate and were preparing to raid the country’s communication and financial systems.
They are also charged with being in the country illegally.
They all denied the charges preferred against them.
The Chinese suspects were arraigned in court on Monday but they did not plead to the case they are facing after the prosecution told Senior Principal Magistrate Lucy Mbugua that they need a Taiwanese and another Chinese interpreter.
Although the defense lawyer was opposed to the prosecution request saying that it’s a tactic to see them remain in custody for a while. Senior Principal Magistrate Lucy Mbugua however ruled that they will remain in custody at Gigiri police station until Wednesday when the court will avail interpreters to facilitate their plea taking.
The defense lawyer had argued that sanitation facilities at the police cells are in poor conditions and that some of the Chinese ladies who were arrested are young.
The high court was also expected to deliver its ruling on whether to grant them bail terms but the ruling has been put on hold until the plea is taken at the lower court.
The suspected cyber-criminals, who have applied for bail, were discovered after a fire broke out in one of their rented houses, killing one of them. The cyber-command center in Runda, with its modern software, is said to be capable of infiltrating bank accounts, M-pesa accounts and even ATM’s. It is suspected to be the biggest such center in Africa.
There have also been claims they may be involved in spying. One of the suspects holds a Thailand passport and the rest are from mainland China and Taiwan.
They were charged in a Nairobi court with being in the country illegally and operating radio equipment without the permits needed.
The 77 suspects are believed to have entered Kenya as tourists.
They were remanded at the industrial area prison.
Justice Kimaru is expected to deliver a ruling on whether to release them on bond after their lawyer filed an application in the high court seeking the court to release them on bond.

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