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City gang with counterfeit money busted defrauding M-Pesa shops

Police on Friday arrested two people from Nairobi suspected to have defrauded M-Pesa shop owners in Mombasa and Malindi using fake currency.

Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi said suspects were arrested at Matsangoni road block on the Malindi-Kilifi road after defrauding three agents of Sh100,000 in Malindi.

Addressing the press in his office, Mr Muchangi said the man and a woman were identified as Ms Ann Wairimu and Mr James Mwangi and that their accomplice who had the fake notes escaped their dragnet.

“So far police have recovered 60 notes of Sh1,000 currency, with some having similar serial numbers used to defraud M-Pesa businessmen. They were using a car with registration number KCJ 828 W,” he said.


Mr Muchangi said preliminary investigation has established that the suspects are residents of Nairobi and have been travelling around the country distributing fake notes in exchange of legitimate currencies.

“The UK Lounge owner at Kijiwetanga reported the incident on June 22 saying two women visited her M-Pesa shop and asked her employee if they could deposit Sh30,000,” he said.

The police chief said the suspects pretended they wanted to deposit money and withdraw it in a few minutes. They them change the genuine currency with the fake notes and ask to deposit again.

“The suspects went on to try a similar approach at another shop but the owner recorded the number plate before they speed off and reported the matter to police,” he added.

While displaying the fake notes on table, Mr Muchangi called upon members of the public to be on the lookout for fake notes suspected to be in circulation and report to the police.