A man was on Friday, May 20, 2022, charged for withdrawing and spending money that was sent to his M-Pesa account by mistake.
Kaluki Mwanzi is said to have received Ksh 22,000 from Joseph Mbiti Maithya on the night between May 16 and 17,2022.
Mwanzi, who was not the intended recipient, declined to return the money prompting the sender to seek legal action against him.
"Kaluki Mwanzi on the diverse dates between May 16 and 17,2022 at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya, intentionally withheld electronic payment via M-PESA of Ksh 22,000 delivered to your mobile number sent by Joseph Mbiti Maithya from M-banking KCB account using his mobile number in error and which ought to be delivered to another person, " the charge sheet read in part.
The suspect who was arrested on May 19 was arraigned before Mwingi Law Courts and pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of intentionally withholding payment delivered erroneously.
The court offered him a chance to refund the money, but he noted that he had already spent it and requested leniency and forgiveness, saying he is the sole breadwinner for his family.
Under section 35 of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act which Mwanzi is charged says, “If you fail to reverse an M-Pesa payment that was made erroneously, you risk a two-year jail term, Sh200,000 fine or both."
In the recent past, some mobile phone subscribers spent money sent wrongly to their accounts instead of waiting for the sender to reverse the transaction.
Often, culprits get away with it as Safaricom refers victims to report the matter to the police for investigations and prosecution.
In 2017, Safaricom company introduced a service where one can reverse money sent to another person in error.
Customers who send money to the wrong recipients are required to send the transaction code, via text message, to the number 456.
In just a few minutes later the cash transfer will be suspended.
Subscribers can cancel transactions within this period at no cost. Safaricom’s mobile application also allows users to confirm their intended recipient even before they input their personal identification number (PIN).
The method has tremendously reduced cases of people sending money to the wrong recipients.