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Prisons boss John Warioba: Kamiti fraud videos are old

John Warioba speaking during the opening of a training workshop at Lang’ata Women's Prison in Nairobi on February 14, 2022. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Kenya Prisons Commissioner-General John Warioba has said that viral video clips of Kamiti Prison inmates conning victims using mobile phones were recorded in 2019.

On Sunday, April 17, Citizen Television aired an expose showing Kamiti prisoners calling and texting random Kenyan phone numbers with the intention of defrauding the victims.

The Kenya Prisons Service now says the videos were taken in 2019, and that the rogue prisoners were already punished, and order restored in the correctional facilities.

One of the inmates allegedly caught on tape calling unsuspecting victims was David Tett.

Prisons boss Warioba says the expose has been aired in 2022, yet Tett was released from prison on September 9, 2021.

“We wish to clarify that one David Tett, a former prisoner, who was referred to in the clip aired on April 18, 2022, as a mastermind of the vice, was transferred from Kamiti Maximum Security prison to Kamiti Medium Security Prison on July 22, 2021, from where he was eventually released on September 9, 2021,” said Warioba.

“Much as the Service appreciates the media for educating and informing the public about what is going on, especially in our correctional facilities, we urge that correct fact be presented. If it is a story or clips recorded in the past, like the one which is the subject of this clarification, it should be indicated so,” he said.

Warioba said the Prisons Service undertook adequate measures to stop inmates from defrauding Kenyans.

“The Kamiti of today is different from the one that was portrayed in the story of April 18, 2022,” he said.

Citizen Television exposed inmates who used mobile phones to defraud Kenyans out of hundreds of thousands of shillings, or even millions, through mobile money services.

The inmates pretended to be representatives of telecommunications companies and would trick their unsuspecting victims into giving them their ID and M-Pesa details, which they’d use to siphon funds.

Others tricked their victims into sending them money via mobile cash transfer platforms.

The expose revealed that one victim lost up to Sh4 million after one of the inmates pretended he was in a position to sell the victim a motor vehicle.

Kamiti has close to 2,000 prisoners.