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American Couple, Initially Arrested in Connection with KRA Hacking, Ordered Deported from Kenya for Overstaying their Visas

An American couple arrested in connection with the hacking of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) system and stealing Sh40 billion were scheduled to be deported to the US on Tuesday night.

The couple, Larry Peckham and Denis Hilton have been held at the Muthaiga Police Station for 35 days after they were arrested by Cyber Security officers along with 13 other suspects. The couple says they were later cleared of the charges for lack of evidence. “We were arrested because police thought we were involved in cybercrime, since we had communicated with the man they said was a main suspect, but police later said they did not have any evidence linking us to cybercrime,” Peckham said in an interview.

The couple has remained in custody even after the initial cybercrime charges were dropped after it emerged to authorities that their visas were expired and they were therefore in the country illegally.

They were to be deported on Tuesday night but launched a complaint with the US embassy saying the police has failed to return two laptops, five phones and some other documents that police seized from them to assist in their investigations. Their lawyer, Ronald Oyieko, had said he would block their deportation until their possessions were returned. It is not clear yet if the two got deported on Tuesday as scheduled.

 Larry Peckham said the only connection they have with the KRA suspects is that he had communicated with Calvin Ogola, one of the suspects arrested in connection with the KRA hack. Peckham says he initially arrived in Kenya three years ago to follow up on a firm that has defrauded him of Sh40 million, and that Ogola had said he would help him recover his money.

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