Suspects using fake notes to swindle locals nabbed in Embu

Njue Nthia displays the fake Sh1,000 note he was given by a stranger in Embu town on Friday. [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]
Police have busted a fake money syndicate in Embu town in which several unsuspecting residents have lost their hard-earned money.

Three suspects were arrested with fake Sh100,000 notes in Manyatta market, Embu North after a tip-off from residents.

Embu North Sub County Commander Godfrey Kere said initial investigations showed the suspects planned to use the fake notes to swindle unsuspecting residents, mostly elderly people who are yet to interact with the new notes.

Kere said the suspects were taken to Manyatta Police Station and will be arraigned once investigations are through.

The police urged residents to follow the Central Bank of Kenya’s advice on how to distinguish the security features of the new currency notes.

CBK introduced the new currency during the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2019.

The arrest comes after locals complained of being swindled their cash by people taking advantage of their ignorance

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They know we still don’t know the new banknotes and are taking advantage of locals mostly the elderly,” said one of the victims.

Another victim, an elderly man from Karurina area of Embu County narrated to the Standard how he was swindled Sh1,500 by a stranger.

Speaking to Standard in Embu town, Njue Nthia, a watchman at a local private school said he was talking to a sister-n-law in Embu town when a blue car stopped and the driver greeted him.

Njue said the heavily-built driver in his 50s pretended to know him and offered to buy him a drink before conning him.

“He said he recognised me as the man who used to sell clothes at Kianjokoma market, which is true because I sold clothes many years ago and was convinced he had no ill-intentions. I entered into the vehicle and he drove off towards a hotel,” recalled Njue.

The driver reportedly stopped midway and asked Njue if he had Sh500 that he could exchange with Sh1000 note and Njue would sort himself later.

Njue fished out his wallet and gave the man the Sh500. Realising Njue had another Sh1,000 in loose notes, he requested Njue to exchange it with a new Sh1,000 note and that is how he lost his money.

When they parted, Njue walked away happy that he had made Sh500 and went to a nearby shop to buy soda only to be told he had fake money.

“The shopkeeper noticed the note was fake. I produced the other note, which he also dismissed as fake. He called people passing by who also confirmed the money was fake. He punched the notes. I was dumbfounded,” said Njue.

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Embu townManyatta marketEmbu NorthKianjokoma markeKarurina area