Detectives in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta county, have arrested a 56-year-old man on allegations of money laundering and internet fraud.
Archibald Kalela Mwandawiro, a science expert at a local university, is believed to be linked to an electronic fraud syndicate in the country.
Mr Mwandawiro was arrested at his home in Mlondo village on Sunday evening.
Via Twitter, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) described him as a cyber espionage suspect and said its officers confiscated “devices used in the interception, access and transmission of messages to unauthorised recipients”.
They found advanced communications equipment including 512 sim cards, 25 modems, an electric inverter, internet routers, a Global Systems for Mobile communications (GSM), a laptop and a mobile handset.
Wundanyi DCI officer Richard Cheruiyot said police raided Mr Mwandawiro’s house and carried out a search based on intelligence.
Mr Cheruiyot said they suspect the gadgets were being used in internet hacking.
“The equipment is used to intercept, access and transmit information from unsuspecting Kenyans,” Mr Cheruiyot said.
The DCIO said the suspect was taken to Wundanyi Police Station and will be arraigned on Monday.
Mr Mwandawiro is said to be a former employee of a leading communications company in Kenya.
“We are working with our colleagues from the Nairobi headquarters to investigate the case,” Mr Cheruiyot said.