27 December 2012

Kenya: Probe Launched On ATM Fraud Nationwide

Photo: Leadership
ATM machine.

Nairobi — Police have launched an investigation into rampant cases of ATM fraud reported across the country, particularly the capital, Nairobi.

Several cases of ATM fraud have been reported in various parts of the country since Christmas Eve, prompting a full-scale investigation by detectives attached to the Banking Fraud Investigation Department (BFID).

"The matter is under investigation," a senior officer attached to the unit said.

The move has prompted some banks to urge their customers to change their secret pin to avoid losing money to fraudsters.

Police said they were working closely with the affected banks to apprehend suspects involved using CCTV images and other evidence left behind during such dubious transactions.

"We are working with the banks affected by this," the officer added.

"There were more than 30 cases reported in Nairobi alone in the past three days," another police officer said, revealing "most of them were reported at the Central police station."

Customers of various banks have lost money through dubious ATM transactions blamed on skimmers.

Police said no suspect had been arrested, "but there are those who are being pursued, including foreigners."

Banks have been advised to issue firm instructions to their guards at ATM points to be wary of any suspicious characters, or customers taking unnecessarily long to complete transactions.

"That is the only way to keep away these criminals from inserting their gadgets at the ATM's to skim customers' details," the officer added.

Police said they would also investigate if former bank employees were involved in the scheme which has cost customers hundreds of thousands of shillings in suspect transactions.

Nairobi Provincial Police chief Moses Nyakwama said officers patrolling the city will also be on the look out for suspects involved in the ATM fraud.

"Guards at the banks have been instructed to work closely with us and notify our officers of any person they suspect to be involved so that they can be arrested immediately," the police chief said.

Earlier last month, a man of Congolese origin was arrested in Nairobi when he was found with more than 20 ATM cards bearing different names.

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