By John Lord Kamau
On the 18th May, Benedict Kabugi Met his friend Jimmy At Saape Lounge along Kiambu Road. Unknown to him, he was walking into what would bring more troubles in his life.
A familiar friend, Benedict thought it was one of the very many usual catch up meetings. Shock on him, when he arrived, Jimmy had unfamiliar company, Mark.
A computer geek, Mark had a pricy commodity that would be beneficial to all; Safaricom internal data on all gamblers in Kenya. In total, 11.5M authentic data that would be sold.
Mark wanted a direct communication and link to Sportpesa, by then the leading betting firm in Kenya. In his head, this data would bring more business to the firm given it held the basic data of all gamblers in Kenya Using Safaricom. It was a rich source, so he thought.
Benedict being a well connected fellow in Nairobi, was the perfect person to do the link up, that’s according to his friend Jimmy who linked him and Mark up.
Mark wanted a meeting with Sportpesa’s Chairman Paul Ndungu and the CEO Ronald Karauri so that’s how Benedict came into the picture as he was the reliable one to do the link up.
In the meeting, Mark gave a sample of the data to ascertain how genuinely it was. He wanted to sell the data to Sportpesa. Benedict curious to confirm the authenticity of the data and being a Safaricom subscriber and gambler, entered his credentials and shock on him, his gambling history and data was all captured in the cache and that’s when his curiosity hit the sky.
They parted ways with the promise that Benedict would arrange for a meeting with Sportpesa so this data would be sold. That was on a Saturday. On Sunday, Mark was blowing up Ben’s phone eager to know the developments, this was a rich resource and huge money in the offing.
However, Benedict felt like held so much in his hands and thought the data in his possession would put him at a greater risk so on Monday 20th he reported to Parklands DCIO where he was handled by a Mr. Njoroge.
He informed him about the data breach, Mr. Njoroge then called Mr. Rabala a DCI detective attached to Safaricom. By then, he was in court over a matter, he promised to get back. After exchanging contacts, Benedict would then be talking to Mr. Rabala on this matter.
Using WhatsApp, Benedict shared the sample of the data that he had received from Mark with Mr. Rabala. Apparently, the detective went mute for about two weeks after the initial communication with Ben and this where he took yet another step.
Because it was taking too long and Mark was asserting pressure for the Sportpesa meeting, Benedict then contacted a Mr Lokopoyit who’s the director of financial services at Safaricom. He sent him the 2,000 data sample that Mark had initially sent to him.
Mr. Lokopoyit who was engaged elsewhere then delegated a Mr. Patrick Kinoti who’s also a senior manager at Safaricom to handle the data matter with Benedict. At that point, they deemed it a serious matter.
When the two finally met, Kinoti had one key issue; how he got hold of the privileged data that only accessible to Safaricom employees and how to get the insiders who leaked this data. Kinoti in his statement said he verified the data and found it to be authentic.
In the meeting Kinoti allegedly told Benedict that there’s a fund for useful intelligence like that of data that he gave so he proposed a Sh3,000,000 reward which Benedict boldly declined.
From the WhatsApp and texts records that were presented in court and Kenya Insights has seen, there was an active negotiation between the two parties to have Benedict rewarded for the intelligence and also as a compensation of his data as a gambler having been breached. The negotiations came down to a Sh.100,000,000 stop.
The meeting ended with Kinoti saying he had to make further consultations and would get back to Benedict. He then sent him a ‘weekend token’ of Sh50,000 on Mpesa. Text Evidence of this transaction was presented in court in court and Kenya Insights has seen the same.
They drew a deal, Benedict had to perfect the plan to have the insiders apprehended, he had the Diamond, Mark who had the data, would smoothly lay the trap to the boys and eventually get to the sources.
So they agreed that he ‘keeps the boys warm’ according to one of his texts to Ben that is also before the court and seen by Kenya Insights. By this, Benedict had to keep with the Sportpesa meeting. He orchestrated the meeting with Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri. There were 2 meetings with Ronald Karauri, the first one was at club Milan in Westlands on 3rd June and the second at ABC place on 7th the second and last meeting and that’s the day Benedict was arrested.
Charles, the former employee of Safaricom had been sent by Mark to represent him in the meeting where he showed Karauri the sample of data and made it clear he wanted to sell it to him.
Even though Kenya Insights has not independently verified this since we’re not in hold of the said data. According to court documents, the database had the following information of all the gamblers:-
(i) Mpesa Detail;
(ii) Total bet amount;
(iv) First name, middle name, surname;
(vi) Date of birth;
(viii) Document type (National ID Card/Refugee ID);
(ix) Debit Party;
(x) Number of Companies;
(xi) Number of pay ins;
(xii) Latest bet date;
(xiii) Earliest bet date;
(xiv) Latest pay in to;
(xvi) Handset name;
(xviii) Indicator 2G/3G;
(xix) Dual Sim and SFC class.
(i) Mobile Number;
(ii) First name, middle name, surname;
(iv) Date of birth;
(v) Document type (National Identity Card/passport number/certificate of registration);
(vi) Latest area, region, county, locality.
This was a rich data for any betting firm which they’d easily use to target and market to gamblers. While the negotiations with Sportpesa was ongoing, Kinoti was also putting up His bargain.
Source: Kenya Insights