from standard media
Criminals have gradually changed tactics, engaging more in white collar crimes than violent robberies. And women, as opposed to men, are the masterminds of these crimes, planned and executed in city’s upmarket offices and estates. The new trend has almost dwarfed the work of police elite squads like the Flying Squad that were, in the wake of frequent violent robberies, formed to infiltrate and dismantle the dangerous networks. The use of the gun and brawn is no longer fashionable. Instead, cyber crime, fraud, pyramid schemes, forgery, money laundering, insider trading and copyright infringement are the tools of trade preferred by today’s ‘digital’ criminals. Women are the chief architects, making Flying Squad officers, more at home with blazing guns, fully occupied, trying to crack computer encryption codes and combing through documents in search of the increasingly elusive evidence. The Nairobian is in possession of seven names and photos of women, who include the ‘wife’ of a senior government official, accused of obtaining money through false pretences. Described as wealthy, flashy and living on the first lane, these women pose as well-connected entrepreneurs with vast knowledge and connections in real estate, import/export, manufacturing and public sectors.
They exploit their deceivingly good looks to prey on unsuspecting victims, with men easily falling into their traps, only to discover later that they have been conned. “Men have a weakness especially when a challenge is thrown their way by the opposite sex. They have so much trust in women driving sleek cars and living in posh homes,” said a detective. Head of Flying Squad, Saidi Mohamed, admitted that they are investigating so many cases involving cyber crime and fraud. The senior officer however did not wish to shed more light on the cases, saying he is not allowed. In January 2015, his officers arrested two suspects in connection with hacking into NIC Bank’s database. Alex Mutungi Mutuku and Stanley Kimeu Mutua were seized from their Kitui County hideout after being tracked for weeks by Flying Squad officers.
They were reportedly demanding from the bank 200 bitcoins (Sh6.2 million), failure of which they threatened to make public NIC’s client confidential financial information in their possession. The matter is in court and hearing is set for January 27. Bitcoin is an online payment system used by peers, mostly in the banking industry. The ‘wife’ of the government official allegedly conned gullible parents and guardians about Sh4 million, pretending she would use her husband’s influence to secure employment for their children in a state agency. She also demanded Sh200,000 from each person ahead of the March 2014 recruitment exercise. Her intermediary, a female civil servant, is now in trouble after the victims threatened to take action after the deal fell through. She was forced to sell part of her property to refund some of the complainants. Meanwhile, it is understood the woman does not want the husband to know of the scam, fearing it could cost him his job if it becomes public knowledge. Another alleged female fraudster operates a recruitment agency along Lenana Road. Apparently, she demands Sh250,000 to secure employment abroad, especially in the USA, where she reportedly has close relatives with whom she works. When we contacted her, she dismissed the allegations, claiming people were out to tarnish her name and demanded to be given names of the complainants. She added that she had quit the recruitment agency and was now based in Mombasa dealing in motor vehicles. “People just want to malign my name. In fact I left that business long time ago in November last year after the government cancelled our licences. However, just give me one or two names of those complaining so that I may be in a position to explain. It might be true or wrong,” she said, contradicting herself in the process.