'Rich' Samuel Mugota was into Sim-swapping, bank fraud, DCI say

A picture shared by DCI on Facebook identifying the person on the right as Samuel Mugota. [Courtesy of DCI]

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) says Samuel Mugota, the 40-year-old man killed on Mirema Drive on May 16, was into crime.

The DCI stated on social media on Thursday, May 19, that Mugota was a mastermind of Sim-swapping and bank fraud.

The authorities said he’d engaged in the illegal business for 11 years, starting 2011.

The DCI further stated that Mugota had been arrested, and secured release under unclear circumstances in 30 different occasions.

The investigative agency stated that Mugota had recruited more than 50 women, who would stupefy and steal their victims’ ATM cards, national identity cards and mobile phones, which would facilitate the fraud.

“He was a multi-millionaire who owned several real estate properties in Nairobi, a fleet of vehicles and had seven wives,” said the DCI on Twitter.

The Standard only knows of three women linked to Mugota, as per a recent police report filed at Kasarani station.

“After 11 years, Mugota seemed to have made more enemies than friends,” said the DCI, who suspect that people on revenge mission killed him on Monday.

“Detectives suspect that one of the women he had employed, or an accomplice, must have given him in to criminals after a deal gone sour,” said the DCI.

“In the last 11 years, Mugota was arrested at least 30 times over fraud-related crimes, and had been in and out of many courts in Nairobi and Kiambu counties.”

The DCI said on many occasions, the suspect “would approach the complainants with a refund for their money, and the cases would collapse”.

The DCI said they suspect that Mugota was working closely with rogue banking officers to help him withdraw money from victims’ bank accounts.

Police said Mugota often “jammed” the ATM machine once a client inserted his card. He’d, thereafter, pretend to be of assistance to the client.

“He would insert the client’s card, then pretend to face away and ask the client to key in his password to confirm his balance before withdrawing money. However, since the machines eject the ATM card first, he would get hold of the card as the unsuspecting client waited for the cash,” said the DCI.

“At this point, Mugota would swap the card with another and hand the client a fake card.”

Police said the suspect would later, in the evening, visit an ATM machine to withdraw money.

“By the time the victims of the well-coordinated fraud visited their banks the following day to make inquiries into the fraudulent transactions, they would be met with apologies from equally hapless tellers.”

“In 2018, at an ATM in Kayole, he [fraudulently] transferred Sh700,000 in a single transaction from an account of a woman he was assisting through PesaLink, leaving a balance of only Sh700.”

Police said that the deceased also used women to drug unsuspecting men in nightclubs and bars. He’d thereafter use the stolen ID, Sim and ATM cards to steal money from the victims’ accounts.

The Standard couldn’t independently verify these allegations.

Mugota’s body was taken to Montezuma Monalisa Funeral Home in Kabati, Murang’a County awaiting burial at his ancestral home in Laikipia East next week.