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Three arrested in Nakuru over M-Pesa fraud, SIM cards found

Thursday December 13 2018

M-pesa fraud items seized in Nakuru

Some of the items that police officers seized in Bondeni, Nakuru County, on December 12, 2018, after the arrest of three suspected members of an M-Pesa fraud gang. PHOTO | COURTESY 

AUGUSTINE SANG
By AUGUSTINE SANG
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Three suspects have been arrested and charged with being part of a gang behind M-Pesa fraud in Nakuru County.

Via Twitter on Thursday, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the three were part of a gang that had stolen an unspecified amount of money from residents.

ITEMS SEIZED

The three were arrested in Bondeni, Nakuru County, on Wednesday and several identity cards, mobile phones, cash and assorted SIM cards found.

One of the suspects, the DCI said, owned an M-Pesa shop that was used as a conduit.

She was identified as 22-year-old Lucy Muthoni Wanjiku.

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The DCI said it was carrying out operations with the goal of ending the gang's operations.

It did not specify the number of people targeted.

THE SCAM

In July, detectives arrested a Safaricom staff member and a university student over SIM card fraud, amid many reports of the crime.

The DCI said it seized 2,160 unused Safaricom SIM cards and three M-Pesa booklets from telecommunications firm Safaricom.

The arrests came two days after the Communication Authority warned the public against revealing their personal identification information (PIN) numbers.

The scam sees the fraudsters make calls and pretending to be the employees of service providers.

People who answer the calls are asked to share sensitive information such as ID and PIN numbers.

The criminals then swap the SIM cards, a process which allows them to transfer money, carry out mobile and internet banking services, make voice calls and use data and any other services.