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Criminals now turn to security guards to withdraw stolen cash

By Cyrus Ombati | Oct 22nd 2019 | 2 min read
By Cyrus Ombati | October 22nd 2019

Criminals have resorted to using security guards to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to avoid being captured by CCTV cameras.

Yesterday, police announced that they had arrested a suspect who had received Sh2.2 million in a month from security guards stationed at various ATMs.

The suspect, who police said is linked to various cases of M-Pesa fraud, in which many unsuspecting subscribers lost millions of shillings, was arrested at the weekend in Thika Town.

According to Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, the suspect has been working with security guards manning various ATMs, who he had recruited to withdraw fraudulently acquired money after sending them secret codes.

“Upon withdrawing the money conned from unsuspecting members of the public, the said guards have been taking share and sending the rest to the suspect,” said Kinoti.

The suspect and two other guards were arrested following an investigation.

“Investigations showed that the two guards had in the month of September alone, sent more than Sh2.2 million to the prime suspect,” said Kinoti.

Caught in the act

Undercover detectives had pursued one of the guards and caught him withdrawing the money from a client’s account at an ATM in the city.

Kinoti also warned that kidnappers are also using use security guards to withdraw cash from the ATMs for a fee.

“We warn the guards to be careful and avoid such tricks. They will face the law,” he said.

Police have in the past months been investigating cases of bank fraud in which Kenyans have lost millions of shillings.

Last week 12 suspects were arrested in a police operation and more than 40,000 SIM cards recovered in Kiambu County.

The first group of five was arrested in Juja town with 40,000 mobile phone SIM cards, several mobile phones, three laptops and a list of names with ID numbers. The arrests followed growing complaints from victims of online and mobile phones fraud.

Another group of seven was arrested yesterday in Kabete and more than 200 SIM cards recovered.

Those arrested are suspected of conning Kenyans of millions of shillings through fake texts and calls. The criminals also defraud unsuspecting citizens through M-Shwari, withdrawals, fake M-Pesa reversal claims and M-Pesa con SMS.

In the recent past, a number of mobile phone users have reported receiving phone calls from fraudsters claiming to work for local mobile network operators. The fraudsters skim personal details such as ID, M-Pesa and SIM card PIN numbers that they use to defraud their victims. 

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