DCI launches manhunt for leader of Mulot SIM swap syndicate

Police are hunting down a man suspected to be involved in mobile money transfer fraud in Kenya.

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Police are hunting down a man suspected to be involved in mobile money transfer fraud in Bomet and Narok counties.

The man is suspected to be one of the leaders of the infamous Mulot Sim swap syndicate operating along the border of the two counties.

He is alleged to have siphoned Sh941,000 from a bank account belonging to a Member of Parliament who had travelled out of the country between December 2 and 3 this year.

In a post on social media, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department (DCI) describes him (name withheld for legal reason) “as a dangerous criminal who has previously served time in prison and has several cases and warrants of arrests handing around his neck.”

“This follows comprehensive investigations by the detectives based at the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, who unravelled the identity of the de facto leader of the criminal enterprise, responsible for [the] SIM swap scam in which phone scammers hijack a victim’s cell phone number and use it to gain access to sensitive personal data and bank accounts through the mobile banking applications available on mobile phones,” the statement says.

An accomplice who works as a boda boda operator has since been arrested by police in Mulot trading centre after he posted wads of cash on social media and bragged about his new-found loot.

A third suspect was arrested in Sigor trading centre in Chepalungu constituency where he was allegedly hiding.

“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,” DCI stated in a tweet.

According to the DCI, the suspects collude with employees of various banks to access details of accounts of targeted individuals, after which they call them pretending to be customer care agents, and request for PIN numbers and their last transactions.

The suspects are alleged to have registered several SIM cards using other people’s details and using them to deposit and withdraw the stolen money.

After receiving the details from unsuspecting bank customers, they initiate a SIM swap and transfers all the money from the account.

The DCI says “local financial institutions are the most targeted due to their inferior network segmentation systems that expose their clients’ sensitive data to the fraudsters.”