Detectives have unmasked the mastermind of the infamous Mulot SIM swap syndicate, one David Mutai alias Hillary Langat Matindwet after the gang stole more than Sh900,000 from a legislator.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has in a statement said that the gang siohoned Sh941,000 from a bank account belonging to a the legislator from Rift Valley, who was out of the country on official duties between December 2 and 3 this month.
“Following the incident reported by the legislator, one of Mutai’s lieutenants Justus Rono, 28, was tracked down by detectives and arrested in the fraudsters paradise of Mulot, a dusty town shared between Bomet and Narok counties,” said the DCI.
“Rono, who disguises himself as a boda boda rider is one of the main suspect’s trusted allies, who ferries him on his bike discreetly to avoid detection from our hawk-eyed sleuths. Images of Rono showing off wads of cash following some of the successful operations that they have conducted, were also obtained by the detectives,” said the DCI.
According to the investigative agency a second suspect identified as Kevin Kiplagat has been apprehended at Sigor market Bomet county.
“The fraudsters who have also perfected the act of impersonating senior government officials recently obtained an unspecified amount of money from unsuspecting members of the public, after posing as a senior state official who would influence employment and business opportunities at a fee,” said the DCI.
The suspects who have registered multiple SIM cards using details from fraudulently acquired identification documents, deposit the siphoned money to different Mpesa accounts, in a bid to make it difficult for detectives for track them down.
In most instances, the fraudsters working in cahoots with rogue banking officials pose as customer care agents from banks then ask for a customer’s account number, PIN, as well as details of the last transaction on the targeted account. They then use the details to duplicate the victims’ account and after a successful SIM swap, the account is swept clean in a matter of seconds.
Local financial institutions are the most targeted due to their inferior network segmentation systems, that expose their clients’ sensitive data to the fraudsters incase of cyber threats.
As a precautionary measure, Kenyans are requested not to reveal their national identity card name and number, the last time they made an M-Pesa transaction and the amount, the last airtime top-up and amount and the Personal Identification Number of their sim cards to strangers who contact them.