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M-Pesa fraud suspect set to be charged in court today, police say

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Tue, April 3rd 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 2nd 2018 at 22:36 GMT +3

The key suspect in a scam targeting MPs is expected in court this morning.

Wazir Benson Masubo Chacha was Monday detained at Muthaiga Police Station following his arrest in Tanzania on Sunday.

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Authorities said the suspect was arrested in Tarime by Tanzanian police officers, who handed him over to their Kenyan counterparts.

The police had been looking for Chacha for more than two weeks. This was after he was named as the main suspect in the racket involving fake M-Pesa accounts registered in the names of MPs and used to solicit money.

Several MPs and other VIPs were duped into sending money in the belief they were responding to distress calls by their colleagues.

But the lawmakers discovered the fraud and reported the matter, prompting investigations.

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Police intend to present Mr Chacha in court this morning and make a miscellaneous application to hold him for a week as they complete their investigations.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said Chacha would face multiple charges, including conspiracy to defraud.

He said Chacha was arrested on his way to DR Congo following a week-long operation involving Kenyan and Tanzanian detectives.

Chacha, 25, is a former employee of the Ministry of Devolution and was a friend of a former MP. Police believe he used this connection to get other MPs' mobile phone numbers.

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According to police, he will be questioned about the registration of a fake M-Pesa account using Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege's details, among other things.

Kinoti said the ID card number of a former MP was used to register an M-Pesa account in Ms Chege's name. The registration was done in Donholm, Nairobi.

Also arrested was Catherine Nyaboke Omwene, an M-Pesa attendant who registered the number.