The Directorate of criminal Investigations (DCI) has shocked Kenyans after releasing a case involving two dead men; Peter Kania Kariuki and Amos Ngata Muiruri whom are said to be stealing from each other.
Peter Kania Kariuki, the former PCEA secretary general died of covid-19 complications on july 26 while Amos Ngata Muiruri died after a botched surgery four months later on November 22,2020.
One of Ngata’s son discovered that the father’s telephone which he used for mobile bank transactions when he was alive had suddenly gone dead one week after his burial in Ndunyu Njeru, Nyandarua County.
The line – 0722720930 – was swiftly activated on another unknown phone. The line was reverted to the family after the son reported the matter to Safaricom.
However, the family discovered that more than KSh2.8 million had been stolen through the NCBA App operated by the NCBA Bank Kenya, the Eazzy Banking app for the Equity Bank and the Mcoop cash app for the Co-operative Bank.
This prompted the family to visit the bank and confirm whether the transactions had happened. To their schock the transactions actually had happened. Ngata’s family rushed to the DCI and reported the matter.
Detectives became more puzzled when it emerged that the telephone number – 0716 546633 – which was used to clean up Ngata’s bank accounts was the registered line of Rev Peter Kania before he died.
The scammers had also stolen Sh500,000 from Rev Kania’s bank account without the knowledge of his widow and his children. Unknown to Rev Kania’s family, the telephone line he used before he died had been used to steal money from the late Ngata and many other Kenyans.
Detectives uncovered graves that mark the dark world of the modern, lethal and high-tech phone scammers. They also have made a major break-through which millions of shillings belonging to both the dead and the living have escaped to the SIM-Swap fraud.
The syndicate mostly targets wealthy individuals – especially those who have died and their families placed their death announcements in newspapers.
In a successful SIM swap scam, the cybercriminals hijack the victim’s cell phone number and use it to gain access to his/her sensitive personal data and bank accounts through the Mobile Banking Apps available on Android and other smartphones.
Once they take control of the swapped SIM card, the crooks insert it in their phone, access the financial accounts and transfer all the funds to other scammed telephone numbers. Once the cash is withdrawn, they switch off the stolen cards frustrating efforts by detectives to track them down.
Five prime suspects have been arrested over the syndicate and they’ll be charged at Nairobi’s Milimani Law Courts today.