A university graduate and a land broker are among four people who were charged on Tuesday, February 2021 with stealing from the dead.
In the first file, Eutycus Muguna Mutembei and Ayugu Eugene Shivachi were charged with stealing KSh2.8 million from a dead man’s bank accounts at the Milimani Law Courts.
The two are accused of being part of a SIM-swap theft syndicate that used the late Amos Ngatia Muiruri’s credentials to steal from his various bank accounts.
Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku released the two on a cash bail of KSh500,000 each and directed them to provide two contact persons.
In the second related file, the two were charged alongside Morris Koome Riungu and Jane Wacuka Gathongo with stealing 39 SIM cards from different subscribers mostly deceased.
They were released on a cash bail of KSh200,000 each.
In the first case, Mutembei and Shivachi took plea on 12 counts of stealing, conspiracy to commit a felony, unauthorised access and preparation to commit a felony.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mutembei is a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Statistics graduate from the University of Nairobi while Shivachi is a taxi driver. Both are land brokers.
The four suspects were arraigned after the DCI unraveled a major SIM-swap scam.
In this syndicate, high-tech phone scammers hijack the victim’s cell phone number and use it to gain access to his/her sensitive personal data and mobile banking apps.
“The syndicate mostly targets wealthy individuals – especially those who have died and their families placed their death announcements in newspapers. They also target telephone lines of the elderly and those who have travelled abroad,” says the DCI.