Hackers defraud Bay of R19.7m

Kathryn Kimberley

A FORMER Port Elizabeth university student was among 10 people who appeared in court yesterday in connection with the brazen theft of more than R21-million from the Nelson Mandela Bay and Koukamma municipalities.

The suspects also include municipal staff, education department employees and IT specialists,

Alleged mastermind Lungisa Kosi, an international relations student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) at the time of the alleged offences, is charged with taking part in both thefts.

The hi-tech robbery more than three years ago was discovered within 48 hours and the bulk of the money recovered. But it took years to complete the investigation, with arrests being made earlier this month.

Seven of the accused allegedly hacked into the Bay municipality’s (NMBM) database in August 2009 and stole almost R20-million within just a few hours.

All the accused face charges of fraud, theft and contravention of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.

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