Three notorious thugs were arrested by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the weekend for obtaining money from unsuspecting members of the public, by operating fictitious online platforms purporting to sell goods.
The three, Dickson Magembe, Dionicious Omonyi and Derrick Kodek were arrested in a swoop by detectives from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, following numerous complaints received from the public via the DCI Facebook and Twitter platforms.
According to DCI, the trio are believed to have obtained millions of shillings from unsuspecting shoppers, by operating fake accounts imitating popular JUMIA online stores.
Through a fake Facebook page ‘Jumia Shopping’ the three ran a promotion over the Christmas & New Year period offering discounts of up to 40% for various household goods, attracting unsuspecting shoppers in droves.
An MPESA Till number where cash deposits would be made before delivery of goods was provided and upon successful payment, an invoice would be sent via WhatsApp promising free delivery within 24 hours.
That would mark the end of the correspondence as the eager clients would be blocked henceforth, leaving them disappointed and with heavy losses to bear.
This happened to a victim in Mukothima, Tharaka North Sub County, who made a payment of Sh 95,000 for a 7-seater recliner seat and a coffee table.
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This is after an offer was made on the fake Facebook page announcing a 40% discount on recliner seats and other household items.
Tens of other Kenyans who found the deals too good to think twice fell for the trap hook line and sinker, after hurriedly making orders before getting thoroughly disappointed later.
A total of 22 SIM Cards used in the fraud were recovered from the first suspect a 3rd-year student at Kisii University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
The suspect was arrested in Canaan area of Kisii town and later led detectives to his two other accomplices in Ruiru, Kiambu county. Meanwhile, the mastermind of the fraud identified as Swarzzenegar Otete, an Information Technology wizard is currently on the run with sleuths breathing down his neck before finally going for his jugular.
DCI urges members of the public to be cautious while purchasing goods online and take time to ascertain the credibility of online shops purporting to offer certain services.
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