Kenya: Police Arrest Six SIM-Swap Fraud Suspects in Kasarani

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested six prime suspects in Kasarani, Nairobi who are said to be part of a sim-swap fraud Syndicate.

According to the DCI, the six suspects were arrested following the arrest in Embu of one of them, who the detectives to Nairobi where the others were also apprehended.

Kasarani Sub-County Police Commander (SCPC) Muthuri Mwongera said they traced the stolen money to Embu.

"We traced the money to Embu where the suspects were diverting it and after the arrest, the suspect led us to Lumumba Drive here in Kasarani where we managed to arrest the other five," he said.

Over 2,000 sim cards, 15 mobile phones, a register with names and numbers of unsuspecting victims were discovered in the house, which are believed to have been used in the fraud syndicate in Nairobi where unsuspecting Kenyans have lost millions over a period of three years.

Detectives said that Joan Cherono 22, Robert Kengetich 23, Josphat Cheruiyot 27, Ronald Kipngetich 20 and Cynthia Chepkirui 21 would get details of their victims from mobile transfer agents and then make calls pretending to be telecom company employees then swap subscribers' sim cards.

"Safaricom would never ask anyone for their ID number because they have it but these people would ask all those details to access withdrawal money and access your banking details," he said.

Mwongera asked anyone who has lost money to come forward.

What amazed the detectives was that all the suspects came from Mulot in Bomet County.

The crime research and intelligence bureau domiciled at the DCI headquarters have flagged Bomet as a hot spot for mobile fraudsters.

Investigations have revealed that the young men have turned Mulot into one of the hotspots of mobile phone fraud in the country.

The latest crime involves sim-swapping, a form of fraud in which scammers manipulate unsuspecting mobile phone users to divulge their confidential information.

The scammers then use this information to replace the sim cards without the owners' knowledge, with the new cards then used to wipe out the clients' M-Pesa and bank accounts of all cash.

The suspects are expected to be arraigned on Monday.

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