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How man, 32, defrauded Kenyans millions of shillings in just 5 months

NATIONAL
By Mate Tongola | May 28th 2021
DCI detectives claim the man has pocketed millions of shillings from Kenyans through fraud. [Courtesy]

 

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers have launched a hunt for a 32-year-old man accused of conning Kenyans out of millions of shillings.

The suspect, who lives in Kericho, is alleged to have defrauded several victims out of tens of thousands of shillings separately under the pretext that he could help them secure jobs or transfers with the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC).

For five months now, the man has been receiving monies from persons seeking teaching jobs or promotions, only to block their contacts after the cash transfers are completed.

The Standard has managed to establish the man’s trick and a few of his victims.

Since the start of the year, the suspect has been visiting teachers’ Facebook pages, where he fishes his victims.

The suspect, using a fake account, often posts on the group that he is seeking a teaching job, promotion or transfer. As other users comment on the post, he takes to the comments section with another fake account, and says he knows of a person who helped him secure either a job or promotion.

He, thereafter, tags a name of the said-helper. Unknown to other Facebook users, the said-helper is him, the suspect.

In his comments, he often claims the person “who helped him” is a senior official at the TSC, and can effect transfers, promotions or job placements instantly.

Persons seeking any of the above, thereafter, reach out to him, expectedly. Remember, all this while, the Facebook users do not know that they are engaging one and the same person.

It is during the private online conversations with his victims that he asks for money. Some have paid him hundreds of thousands of shillings, others tens of thousands of shillings, collectively making him millions of shillings richer.

A reporter of The Standard, two months ago, joined one of the Facebook pages (KUPPET Teachers Kenya), which has over 93,000 followers. He pretended to be a high school teacher seeking transfer from Western Kenya to Nairobi.

“What subject combination do you teach?” the suspect asked.

The reporter said he first wanted to know how much would be needed to effect the transfer so that when he’s fully prepared, he can reach the suspect while armed with the money.

Without a second thought, the suspect said: “Leta 20K (give me Sh20,000 and I will initiate the transfer),” he said.

The Standard spoke to two other victims, who were conned by the suspect.

One of the victims, who was seeking transfer from a Garissa secondary school to Precious Blood Girls’ High School-Riruta in Nairobi, was conned out of her Sh70,000, while the other, a teacher in Western Kenya, who wanted promotion, was conned out of his Sh20,000.

The Standard obtained mobile money transfer records from the victims, backing their claims that they lost funds to the suspect.

The two are just a few of the many who have lost their money to the suspect since the start of 2021.

DCI detectives privy to the case told The Standard persons who have filed complaints with the agency about the suspect run into their tens. The sleuths estimate that the suspect has conned the victims, collectively, out of millions of shillings.

“If we say he has pocketed only Sh1 million shillings, we’d be lying. This man has minted several millions of shillings from gullible, unsuspecting or desperate Kenyans,” said the officer, who spoke in confidence.

The KUPPET Teachers Kenya Facebook page, which is the suspect’s operations paradise, has been in existence since January 2012.

For legal and investigation-related reasons at this stage, we won’t identify the suspect by name, though his phone number has the following digits 0707***558. The suspect has another line: 0756***508.

The Standard reached TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia for comment.

The teachers’ boss said TSC never charges applicants for any job considerations, and that teachers should be vigilant to avoid being victims of fraud.

She further said at county level, intern teachers are recruited through the County Director of Education’s office, and that no money exchanges hands for consideration.

The Standard also reached a senior human resources manager at the TSC. She said teachers’ promotions are conducted by the TSC’s HR department, though transfers are handled by a special staffing committee.

“If someone is seeking promotion, the TSC will handle the application directly. We don’t have proxies,” she said.

A senior DCI officer told The Standard they have traced the suspect to Kericho County.

“Soon, we’ll have him in custody,” he said.

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