Police pursue two women suspected of theft, conning M-Pesa agents

A university student lost Sh51,000 while working at an M-Pesa shop in Langas, Kapseret sub-county. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Police officers in Eldoret are looking for two women suspected of stealing from unsuspecting M-Pesa agents in Uasin Gishu county.

The police said they have concealed the women's identities over security concerns. The suspects are believed to have acquired thousands of shillings through fraudulent means.

The police have connected them to an incident where a university student lost Sh51,000 while working at an M-Pesa shop in Langas, Kapseret sub-county.

A similar incident occurred recently along Oginga Odinga Street in Eldoret town, where an M-Pesa agent, Zabiba Mohamed, lost Sh50,500.

In the Langas incident, Scalonelizy Maselus, a university student, is said to have been offered a temporary job at an M-Pesa shop during the long holidays.

She stated that after opening the shop at around 10am on the material day, she was approached by an elderly woman who said she wanted to deposit Sh51,000. However, Maselus did not have enough float, prompting her to seek for more from her boss.

When the student was still waiting for a reply from the employer, the woman gave her Sh51,000 for confirmation while waiting for the money.

However, the woman then demanded to be given the money, saying she would deposit it in Eldoret town instead. However, it was a ploy to create confusion.

Maselus claimed that after she returned the money to the customer, which was stashed in a brown envelope, the woman then changed her mind and pleaded with her to deposit it again.

“By the time she asked for the return of the money, I didn’t suspect she had changed the envelope, only to realize later they were fake notes,” she said.

The women used the same method to con a university student in Langas.

Uasin Gishu County Criminal Investigation Officer, Peter Mulwo, said they have recorded several cases of the same nature, particularly from M-Pesa agents.

He said the con women confuse the agents by using fake currency.

“Our investigation reveals that the con women walk with different envelopes of the same colour in order to con unsuspecting M-Pesa shop attendants, but they will not escape,” said Kimulwo.

Turbo sub-county Police Commander, Edward Masibo, said they had recorded several conning incidents involving elderly women.

“These cases have been there for some time, but I can assure you that we are on their necks, we have alerted our officers and they are monitoring their movements,” said Masibo.

“It is wrong to steal from an operator who does not own the business, you are putting them into trouble with their employers. We cannot allow this to happen in this county," he added.