Police are holding a suspect who has been operating a high-tech mobile phone scam syndicate in the country.

The suspect was arrested Friday and a gunny bag full of SIM cards belonging to Safaricom, Airtel and Telcom mobile service providers were recovered.

According to police, the suspect had among others hacked into the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) database and acquired personal details of 61,617 registered voters from a county in western Kenya.

The data, which was found in his possession, contains names of registered voters, their ID numbers and dates of birth.

Using the fraudulently acquired personal details, the suspect along with others then contacted different wireless carriers and convinced the customer service agents that they are the true owners of the lines.

Investigations show upon successful SIM swapping, the suspects are then granted full access to the victim’s online accounts.

Some of the sim cards that were recovered from the suspect

His arrest followed a joint operation by detectives and investigators from Safaricom, after the suspect swindled an M-Pesa agent an unspecified amount of money.

The fraudster masquerading as an M-Pesa customer care attendant called the agent and lured her into dialling some unspecified codes.

Before the agent realised that she was in a fake call, she had already lost cash from her money lending account.

The money was sent to an M-Pesa account belonging to one of the fraudulently acquired SIM cards, before being transferred to an account at Cooperative Bank.

The suspect has been operating a gang believed to have swindled unsuspecting members of the public millions of shillings through this pretentious scheme.

The 21-year-old believed to have previously worked for one of Kenya’s mobile phone networks was arrested in Juja by sleuths from Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, supported by Safaricom’s fraud investigations team and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology security officers.

This is the latest arrest to be made at the place in a series that has been ongoing in the past months.

Most of the suspects involved in the fraud are from Mulot and students at Jkuat.

Police say they are still yet to crack the link between the two places and the fraud.

Most of the suspects are still in court.


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