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Unknown people abandon Sh300 million in fake currency on roadside in Nairobi

By Cyrus Ombati | September 2nd 2019

Mystery surrounds the identity of men who dropped a box full of fake US dollars on the roadside in Nairobi.

The fake US dollars and Euros, spotted near Coptic Hospital along Ngong Road were in different stages of manufacturing.

Pedestrians using the feeder road spotted some of the papers splashed on the roadside and collected few before calling police on Sunday afternoon.

Police from Kilimani visited the scene and collected the papers. The officers established that $640,000 fake papers were ready for distribution to the market while $2.4million were in their final stage of formation.

There were also 2,350 fake Euros and 15 liters of washing chemicals in powder form.

Nairobi Police boss Philip Ndolo said they are yet to establish those behind the dumping of the fake currencies.

“Investigations are ongoing. No arrests have been made so far to enable us know the motive,” he said.

This is the latest discovery of fake currencies in the country in a series of incidents that paint a picture of Nairobi being the base for transnational fake cash.

In May this year, nine suspects were arrested in Kilimani area and fake Sh190 million ($1.9M) recovered from them.

This came two days after another group of seven was nabbed with fake Sh300million in a house in the same area.

Police investigations show counterfeit bank notes remain the top form of fraud for the increasingly growing mobile money and bank agents in Kenya.

In its annual report for the period ending June 2017 CBK, acknowledged the possibility of a transnational fake currency ring in Nairobi and the region.

“CBK and other East African Community (EAC) central banks held a joint meeting with the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) in September 2016 to develop strategies for enhancing the fight against counterfeit crime, one of the emerging transnational crimes.”

The bank regulator had conducted a survey in 2017 that showed 97 percent of fraud faced by the agents involved fake notes.

The February 27 discovery of a cache of fake foreign cash amounting to Sh32 billion in a residential house in Ruiru town was the biggest incident that followed a series of similar cases in the past few years.

In June 2018, the High Court in Nairobi condemned a Niger and Cameroonian nationals to 10 years in jail for possession of an estimated Sh110billion in counterfeit currency.

The two were also in possession of tools for making fake bank notes. The trial took two-and-a-half years, following the foreigners’ arrest in Nairobi’s Diamond Park II in 2016.

Similar Incidents

On March 19, police seized fake Sh2billion in a safety box at Barclays Bank, Queensway branch.

In October 1, 2018 police in Nairobi recovered fake money valued at Sh 1billion. Three suspects were nabbed. The money was found in a house along Brookside drive at Brookside gardens in Westlands.

Two days later police arrested a Nigerian national in South B and seized fake US dollar bills of USD251, 400 (about Sh25.3 million).

Two other suspects were arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in October 2016 with fake Sh267 million euro notes of 500 bills on their way to Dubai.

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