Detectives on Sunday busted a gang of fraudsters posing as StarTimes and Safaricom employees operating within Nairobi city.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the gang normally parks their vehicles within notable busy spots in the city and displays a range of merchandise including electronic goods and laptops which they purport to be promoting or selling.
According to police, the syndicate operates at Tea Room on Mfangano Street next to Sizzling Hotel and around Globe Cinema round-about.
The gang lures members of the public that have used Safaricom lines for more than two years and StarTimes customers to be rewarded with new phones and other electronic items.
According to the DCI, unsuspecting victims are then requested to register to win a prize by sending some amount through M-Pesa and in the process, the gang members master the victim’s M-Pesa PIN after which the fraudsters transfer their money in the pretense of activating their accounts.
In other cases, victims are asked to hand over their identity cards for registration and in the process, the suspects note the year of birth. Police said since many Kenyans use their year of birth as their M-Pesa PIN , this makes it easy for fraudsters to wire money from their victims’ accounts.
The detectives arrested John Ngethe Mwaura, who is said to be the gang leader; Timothy Njena Mwaura, whose vehicle is used by the suspected fraudsters; Kelvin Kamau Muturi, the syndicate driver.
Also seized during the operation were Geoffrey Ngari Githui, Peter Gitau Kibe, the spy who monitors and alerts the gang of police presence and an employee identified as Benard Thuita Maina.
Another member of the gang whose vehicle is used to display the items purported to be on sale is John Kamande Ndungu.
The DCI said a number of victims have since recorded their statements with the police.
Some of the victims include Anthony Njihia, who lost Sh54,000 to the fraudsters and John Okoth Odondi (Sh54,600).