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DCI cops bust fake number plates ring in Ngara

Friday February 21 2020

Items recovered following the police bust at a house in Ngara, Nairobi.

Items recovered following the police bust at a house in Ngara, Nairobi. PHOTOS | COURTESY 

BONFACE OTIENO
By BONFACE OTIENO
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Police on Friday unmasked a syndicate that has been fraudulently manipulating the transport regulator's database to register cars in what appears to be a multi-million shilling scam.

Detectives arrested two hackers in Ngara, Nairobi who were found manipulating the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) database to con unsuspecting Kenyans.

"The officers managed to arrest the two suspects namely Michael Onyango Oduor aged 54, and Sylvester Onyango aged 30," said DCI on Friday.

They also raided NTSA offices and arrested an employee from the call centre department, Antony Rugut Korir, who is said to have helped the hackers to break into the State agency's network.

DCI said the hackers were found altering data on the Transport Information Management System (TIMS) system owned by the government.

The system enables users to renew their drivers’ licence and register vehicles among other services.

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“Earlier today, a team of digital forensic experts and serious crime unit detectives working on intelligence raided an office in Ngara...Upon gaining entry, the team found two suspected hackers actively on NTSA database and TIMS System,” said DCI.

Officers conducting the raid also recovered Sh1.2 million from the house, along with a machine they were using to cut number plates.

"Also recovered was a compressor machine that was being used for painting number plates, one complete number plate, five desktop computers, laptops, logbooks, modems, hard drives and flash drives," DCI said.

The latest operation follows another in January that saw security agents arrest 19 NTSA employees in a bid to smash a number plate-cloning ring that is believed to be aiding terrorists.

The racket is said to have links to some staff at the licensing, information technology, inspection and registration of motor vehicles departments of NTSA.

The criminals help criminals to duplicate number plates for stolen vehicles that are used for criminal activities.