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Three arrested for swindling MCA 1.9m in SIM swap scam

Wednesday July 25 2018

Sim cards

Some of the items recently seized from suspects in connection to SIM card fraud. Police on July 24, 2018 arrested three suspects in connection to an incident where a ward representative from Kiambu County lost Sh1.9 million after criminals swapped his SIM card and accessed his bank accounts PHOTO | COURTESY 

ERIC WAINAINA
By ERIC WAINAINA
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Police have arrested three suspects in connection to an incident where a ward representative from Kiambu County lost Sh1.9 million after criminals swapped his SIM card and accessed his bank accounts while he was out of the country on an official tour.

The three, Joseph Kuria, 27, from Uthiru, Grace Wanjiru, 39, from Kahawa Wendani and Mishack Okoth Okuta, 33, from Umoja Two, were arrested on Tuesday by detectives from Nairobi’s Central Police Station where the complaint, Ikinu MCA Stanley Kiarie Wanjiku, had reported the matter.

According to the police, one of the suspects, whom they described as key, was a customer care executive with a mobile service provider but has since been dismissed, while the second one is an employee of the bank where the MCA had banked his money.

The police published their photos on their Twitter handle, where they also announced that they are closing in on two more suspects.

CRIME NETWORK

The two at large are believed to be part of the network behind the recent spate of SIM swapping where Kenyans have lost money.

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Mr Kiarie reported that Sh1.873 million was withdrawn from his two bank accounts, one of which is a joint account on July 3 and July 4, 2018 when he was in Israel on official duty.

During the period, Sh40,000 was also withdrawn from Mr Kiarie’s M-Pesa account after his line was replaced and his mobile money transfer account PIN regenerated and issued to strangers without his knowledge or authorisation.

According to the MCA, whose passport details show that he flew out of the country on June 26, 2o18 and returned on July 5, 2018, records shoe he shared details of one of his bank accounts and mobile number with a call centre at the bank on July 2.