How 8 Suspects Defrauded 500 Million From Fuliza – Eagle News Feed

Detectives have uncovered a high level syndicate where scammers have obtained close to Sh500 million through a popular mobile phone platform

Detectives have uncovered a high level syndicate where scammers have obtained close to Sh500 million through a popular mobile phone platform

Detectives have uncovered a high-level syndicate where scammers have obtained close to Sh500 million through a popular mobile phone platform supported by mobile communication service provider, Safaricom.

The service provider through its Fuliza overdraft service where customers can complete their Mpesa transactions even when they do not have enough funds in their Mpesa account, lost the money in a well-coordinated scheme by eight young men based in Nakuru and Trans-Nzoia counties.

Isaack Kipkemoi, Gideon Rono, Maxwell Ributhu, Gideon Kirui, Moses Rono, Collins Kipyegon and Edwin Cheruiyot were arrested at an apartment in Kiamunyi, while the mastermind Peter Gitahi was arrested in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County following the meticulous operation by police officers.

The young men who were found in possession of thousands of Safaricom and Airtel SIM cards were using fraudulently generated identity card numbers to register the SIM cards before proceeding to borrow money through the application.

Detectives began investigations into this well-choreographed fraud after a report was filled to the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit (BFIU) in August 2022, after the managers of the fund detected an unusual spike in Fuliza loan uptakes that were way above their performance scale and the borrowers were not repaying the loans.

According to sleuths from BFIU, over 123,000 new mobile phone numbers opted into full and took up loans in January 2022. Thereafter, the SIM cards were either fraudulently vacated or switched off and efforts to reach the customers turned futile.

It is after further investigations that detectives realized that the SIM cards had been registered fraudulently by one of the suspects identified as Peter Gitahi, who is suspected to have access to the National Registration Bureau database, where he develops falsified identity numbers used in the high profile fraud.

Preliminary investigations indicate that after developing the numbers and registering the lines he would sell them to his accomplices based in Nakuru who would then perpetuate the fraud.

Further, the detectives uncovered that some of the lines had been registered as Safaricom agents where the borrowed funds would be deposited to personal bank accounts belonging to the individuals, disguised as Mpesa float.

The seemingly industrious suspects would initially borrow money and repay thereby improving their credit scores until the SIM cards achieved their limits when they would borrow for the last time before disposing of the SIM card.

One identity card would be used to register five lines in the daring SIM scam perpetuated by young men, aged between 24-30 years.

The suspects who live large in an apartment at Kiamunyi, have through their craft acquired two brand new Subarus, one Toyota Mark X, a Toyota Probox, and two motorbikes for their ease of movement.

During the operation, the detectives recovered 14 mobicom phones used in registering MPESA user SIM cards, 6laptops over 40 mobile phones, seven routers, assorted Safaricom lines, over 1000 Safaricom subscribers registration forms, over 200 ATM cards from all major banks, car agreements among other exhibits.

Detectives are interrogating the suspects for more insights into the high-level fraud before arraigning them in court.

Beryl Onyango

Beryl Onyango is a CPA and economics degree holder who has dedicated her career to helping others navigate the complex world of finance. Beryl has spent the past 3 years working as a finance specialist in a fintech company and has 6 years of experience in finance, working with a diverse range of clients and industries. Beryl's expertise lies in budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning, but she also has a deep understanding of various other areas of finance. She is interested in financial technology and how it changes how we manage our finances. As a finance writer, Beryl has been sharing her insights and knowledge through her writing, covering various finance and personal finance topics. Her goal is to educate and empower individuals to take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals. In addition to her professional experience, Beryl is a lifelong learner, always seeking to expand her knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in finance. She is also a strong communicator, able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Beryl believes that financial literacy is the key to achieving financial success, and she is dedicated to helping others achieve their financial goals.

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