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Airbnb fraudster arrested in Ruaka, Kiambu

By Hilary Kimuyu December 1st, 2023 1 min read

A suspect believed to be the main culprit in a string of fraud cases in Nairobi, Kiambu, Kisumu and Mombasa counties has been arrested.

The suspect was arrested on Thursday in Ruaka, Kiambu County, after attempting to seek help from a bank where her frozen account was linked to numerous dubious transactions. Using copyrighted images, the suspect had used several Facebook accounts to lure unsuspecting holidaymakers.

According to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the 24-year-old suspect would lure her victims online and then instruct them to make payments to a Till or Paybill number.

“In a well-choreographed scheme that has milked both local and foreign coast-goers to the bone, the daring suspect opened several social media platforms claiming to own several Airbnbs in the Mombasa Coast region, attracting a following of over 10,000 unsuspecting fun-lovers,” DCI boss Mohamed Amin said in a statement.

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But once the payments were made, she would disappear, leaving them stranded at various locations such as beaches, bus stations, SGR terminals and airports.

To avoid detection, she frequently changed her SIM cards, which were registered under different names, often using stolen identity cards. The suspect’s downfall came when she fraudulently obtained an unspecified amount of money from a banker who was unwilling to overlook the transaction.

Amin reports that the banker tipped off the detectives, prompting them to take swift and decisive action against her. The DCI says that following her arrest, several DCI stations in the Nairobi region, including DCI Kilimani, Kasarani, Thika, Kiambaa and Kiambu, are in the process of preparing legal documents for her upcoming court appearance.

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