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October 19, 2018

Cybercrime law: You'll pay Sh200,000 fine for not returning M-Pesa money

"The Act targets those who intentionally hides or detains any electronic message, electronic payment, credit and debit card sent in error."
"The Act targets those who intentionally hides or detains any electronic message, electronic payment, credit and debit card sent in error."

Failing to reverse an M-Pesa transaction done by mistake will see Kenyans pay a Sh200,000 fine or be jailed for two years, or both.

This is according to Computer and Cyber Crimes Act, 2018 which President Uhuru Kenyatta ratified on Wednesday.

More on this: Think again, that WhatsApp message may send you to jail!

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

Section 36 states that a person who unlawfully destroys or aborts any electronic email or processes through which money or information is being conveyed commits an offence.

The law also states that inducing any person in charge of electronic devices to deliver any electronic messages not specifically meant for someone is an offence.

Last year, a woman was jailed in Embu for six months for using Sh27,140 that was accidentally sent to her M-Pesa account.

Margaret Njeri was unable to pay the Sh40,000 fine for the offence and was taken to Embu prison to serve the sentence.

Njeri was accused of stealing the money which Richard Mbui sent to her by mistake on December 7.

Mbui asked her to return the money but she withdrew and used the cash then switched off her phone to avoid being traced.

Read: Woman jailed for using Sh27,000 sent to her Mpesa by mistake

Section 31 of the same law states that any person who unlawfully destroys or aborts an electronic mail or processes through which money or information is being conveyed commits an offence.

In this case, the culprit will pay the S 200,000 fine or serve a jail term not exceeding seven years, or both.

Also read: Tough times ahead as Uhuru signs Cybercrimes law

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