Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested three people for impersonating senior government officials including members of the First Family.
In a statement on Sunday, November 6, the directorate said the fraudsters have been operating pseudo-social media accounts impersonating President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife Dorcas, Chief Justice Martha Koome among other senior state officials.
According to the DCI, the suspects aged between 19 and 25 years ran multiple Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts which they used to obtain hundreds of thousands of shillings from unsuspecting Kenyans.
Apparently, most of the victims were duped into believing that the owners of the accounts would assist them to secure financial assistance, jobs, among other favours.
Among those arrested is a 19-year-old suspect identified as Michael Wekesa who was nabbed in Sirisia, after he opened a Facebook account purporting to be an employee of the Office of the First Lady.
Wekesa, DCI said, posed as a loans officer who would influence issuance of quick loans, swindling thousands from desperate Kenyans, who approached him for assistance.
“In a well-calculated scheme, the suspect who promised interest-free loans from the esteemed First Lady’s Office, requested for a small deposit as ‘facilitation fees’ to expedite the process
“Unsuspecting Kenyan’s not aware of the existence of such scammers sent money to a provided M-Pesa account which was then transferred to a till number under the suspect’s name. It is only after their calls went unanswered afterwards, that reality dawned on them that they had become the latest victims of fraud from tech-savvy teenagers taking advantage of gullible Kenyans online,” DCI said.
Also arrested in the dubious scheme was the main suspect’s accomplice Isaac Oduor, 19, who operated a ‘call center’ that received calls from would-be beneficiaries, before they were escalated to the ‘loans officer’ for action, authorities said.
The sleuths managed to recover three mobile phones believed to have been used in the transactions by the suspects.
The third suspect identified as Dennis Kimaru, 25, had opened a social media account in the name of President Ruto’s aide-de-camp, Col Fabian Lengusuranga.
The Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Kirinyaga University also operated fake Facebook accounts under the names Mzalendo Kimaru (jeshii), Mzalendo Kym Korir and Obuntu Family.
The suspects are in custody pending further action.
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