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DCI: How top prison officer swindled Kenyans over Sh200m in jobs scam

By Mireri Junior | May 22nd 2021

Some of the academic documents of victims recovered in the suspect's house. [Courtesy]

Detectives are looking for a senior officer in the Prisons Department linked to a fake jobs' scheme that has seen dozens of Kenyans allegedly lose over Sh200 million.

The officer escaped sleuths from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Friday, May 21, during a sting operation that saw two suspects arrested and fake letters of appointments recovered from the suspect’s house.

According to DCI, the officer operated a criminal organisation that recruited helpless job seekers, with the promise of job opportunities in top parastatals and government security agencies including, the Kenya Defence Forces, National Intelligence Service and the National Police Service.

“The suspects have recruited job seekers from across all levels of education and academic disciplines including graduates in Mathematics, Computer Science and Microbiology among others,” said DCI in a tweet on Friday.

One of their many victims was a Kiambu woman who reportedly lost over Sh800,000 to secure jobs for her three children at the National Hospital Insurance Fund, Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the Kenya Ports Authority.

According to the woman, she was offered fake letters of appointment inviting her children to the said institutions, to take up positions that had allegedly fallen vacant.

The frustrated woman reported the matter to the police after the suspects repeatedly postponed the reporting date of the citing Covid-19 restrictions.

“I became jittery on the authenticity of the appointments when the suspect called twice to postpone the reporting dates, citing Covid-19 restrictions,” she said.

In January, the suspects also swindled over 60 Kenyans who were "recruited" and offered forged letters of appointment, inviting them to join the Kenya Airports Authority.

Fake US Dollar notes also recovered from the suspect's house. [Courtesy]

The victims are reported to have paid between Sh300,000 and Sh400,000 each and were driven to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to familiarise themselves with what would be their new work environment

The scammers, however, vanished after driving their victims at a high-end hotel overlooking the Nairobi National Park, along Mombasa Road, where they were treated to a sumptuous meal with a promise to report to the new workstations on March 18.

“They were asked to go home and report on March 18. That was last time the victims heard from the phoney thugs,” according to DCI.

Detectives said the suspect has been working in cahoots with colleagues who lure desperate job seekers into the trap, get money from them and remit the same to the prime suspect.

According to DCI, two colleagues of the officer also collected Sh19 million and over Sh5.7 million respectively from unsuspecting Kenyans in the same scam.

Investigators said they receive reports from victims who have filed reports detailing how they were conned and urged Kenyans with similar complaints to report to police.

“DCI invites Kenyans who submitted their academic documents, birth certificates, identification cards and other documents to the fraudsters, to present themselves at the DCI headquarters, Serious Crimes Unit and file their reports.”

During the raid, detectives also recovered fake US dollars amounting to Sh2.4 million were also the prime suspect’s house in what appears to be a money-laundering scheme.

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