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Court frees online fraud suspect

SCI & TECH
By Winfrey Owino | June 21st 2021

Stacey Parker was arrested on Friday, May 25, at the JKIA moments after jetting into the country from the U.S. [Courtesy]

A Kiambu court has set free one United States of America citizen suspected to have been linked to an online scam in which Kenyans lost millions of shillings.

Stacey Marie Parker Blake was arrested on Friday, May 25, after she jetted into the country, from the US on allegations of obtaining millions of shillings from unsuspecting Kenyans in a fraudulent scheme known as Amazon Web Worker.

While setting her free, Kiambu Resident Magistrate Wilson Radin noted that there was no compelling evidence to charge the suspect.

The magistrate’s verdict contradicting the DCI detectives initial pronouncements.

Upon her arrest, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had said she was arrested after intensive investigations by Serious Crimes detectives linked her to the fraud.

"In a well-coordinated and orchestrated scheme, investors were duped into investing their money in an online app known as Amazon Web Worker, on the premise that they would earn huge profits of up to 38 per cent for a deposit lasting only 7 days," the DCI revealed via a tweet.

Hundreds of unsuspecting Kenyans downloaded the app, signed up, made their deposits as others even referred their friends and relatives.

"It is not until when the app was deleted from the internet without prior notice, that the investors discovered they had been duped. They were shocked to learn that the app was not in any way linked to Amazon, a multinational technology company based in the United States," the DCI went on.

The detectives said they linked the suspect to the syndicate after investigations revealed that she had pay-bill accounts with up to Sh50 million in her name.

Her release comes at a time when Kenyans have raised concerns about the rising cases of online fraud in the country.

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