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Two held for personating immigration staff in Nairobi, running fake Facebook page

By Cyrus Ombati | October 20th 2020
A man behind bars. [Courtesy]

Two men were Monday evening arrested for running a fake Facebook account and impersonating immigration personnel.

The two were arrested after it emerged they have been running a Facebook page "immigration customer Ke" where they frequently posted information on the department's services.

On the page, they have been directing the unsuspicious public seeking immigration services to send direct messages to them for any assistance. They then gave personal numbers for further communication.

Investigations have shown the two have been working with individuals stationed at immigration offices Nyayo House who helped them access the victims' data and later use the same to make documents.

They promise the victims that they would help fast-track their applications such as passports, visas and work permits and charge various amounts for the services.

"Once the victims pay the deposit for the process to begin, the two create hurdles after hurdles that they use to keep siphoning money from the victims. They eventually stop answering the victims' calls," said director general of immigration Alex Muteshi.

Muteshi called on Kenyans to stop following such fake accounts and individuals who may con them. Instead, they should seek services from their official offices.

The officers handling the matter said the two will be arraigned in court today to face impersonation charges.

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Police say there is a surge of cases of impersonation in the country with many unsuspecting Kenyans being conned of valuables and cash.

Last month, two men were arrested for impersonating the Deputy Inspector General of Kenya police Edward Mbugua.

One of them had opened a fake Facebook account that he managed personating Mbugua. He also had two different mobile numbers which he had registered using Mbugua's name.

Police said they arrested one suspect in Donholm and the second one in Kahawa West estate, Nairobi and recovered a pair of handcuffs and a rubber stamp of the Ministry of devolution.

Central police boss Mark Wanjala said the arrests were made following complaints from unsuspecting members of the public who had been conned.

One of the suspects, Philemon Mutiva Esioko has been running the Facebook account where he updated it posting Mbugua's images. He also posed as Mbugua's personal assistant.

The two suspects were Monday charged before a Nairobi court and released on Sh200,000 cash bail. Mr Mbugua said he doesn't run personal social media accounts.

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