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How Mpesa agent lost money to fraudsters purporting to be Mpesa staffers

A city mason who allegedly stole Sh46,062 from an M-pesa agent while colluding with others pretending to be Safaricom Kenya Limited employees was charged with theft contrary to section 268 (1) as read with section 275 of the Penal Code.

At the Makadara Law Courts, Moses Wanyonyi Wafula was charged with stealing money from Victor Okuku, the proprietor of Pesatel Pacod located at Mukuru Kaiyaba slums along Enterprise Road in Nairobi.

He is accused of committing the offense jointly with others on August 8.

Wafula is said to have gone to Okuku’s employee at the M-pesa shop while talking on the phone allegedly pretending to be speaking to an Mpesa customer care official.

He told the attendant that he had erroneously sent slightly over Sh1000 and requested the attendant to talk to the purported M-pesa staffer to receive instructions on how to help Wafula reverse the transaction.

However, the purported M-pesa customer care staffer asked the attendant how much money he had, and he disclosed.

The caller demanded Okuku’s phone number before directing his employer to deposit cash to another agent. Okuku’s employee deposited Sh26, 000 and returned to the shop.

He was directed to dial certain codes and the money was immediately transferred without his knowledge.

Okuku’s employee was directed to deposit an additional amount of money and he borrowed Sh18, 000 which he borrowed from a nearby M-pesa agent and deposited before it was also transferred after he followed similar instructions.

He continued following instructions from the caller as more money was being transferred until he realized he had been defrauded.

The caller later instructed him to hand the phone back to Wafula, and he overheard Wafula being instructed to go to another agent.

He raised the alarm, and the accused person was detained by the members of the public and escorted to the police.

The accused person was arraigned in court after investigations were concluded.

He denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Eric Mutunga, where he denied the charges and pleaded for lenient bail and bond terms claiming he is currently unemployed.

Mr Mutunga granted him a bond of Sh100, 000 and an alternative cash bail of Sh30, 000.

The case will be mentioned on September 28 before hearing starts on December 13.