Bitcoin Syndicate: How Students Swindled Kenyans Millions Through Credit Cards

  • A hacker wearing a hoodie operates a computer
    A hacker wearing a hoodie operates a computer
  • Detectives drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested a Nakuru-based gang that has been hacking people's credit cards before using them to purchase bitcoins and converting them to Kenyan currency. 

    In a statement dated Thursday, June 16, DCI stated that the gang consists of two students from Kenyatta University and two female accomplices who operated from houses in the affluent Milimani neighborhood of Nakuru county. 

    The detectives intimated that the culprits created fake email accounts which they used to hack credit cards of unsuspecting victims, especially those living in foreign countries. 

    Kenyatta University
    Kenyatta University

    The accounts would then be used to buy bitcoins that are converted to Kenyan currency. 

    The syndicate used the cash to live a lavish lifestyle, engaging in partying and purchase of properties. Police officers, who were alerted of the crime, began investigations and were hot on the gang's trail.

    The students were smoked out of the Milimani neighborhood alongside their accomplices. 

    "The gang operating from houses in the affluent Milimani neighborhood has been on our radar over the past few days and it was only a matter of time before our detectives smoked them out," DCI stated. 

    "Among the documents recovered in the house was a land sale agreement entered on May, 25, for a property valued at Ksh850,000 in Juja, Kiambu county."

    DCI urged online users to take caution when clicking links sent to them as the vice is gaining currency in the country. 

    This comes even as the DCI launched its own national Forensic Laboratory which will be used to deal with contemporary crimes such as cybercrime and misuse of technology. 

    "This national endeavour seeks to increase to support our criminal justice system in conducting evidence-based investigations, enable quick re-enactment of crime as well conviction of suspects through validated and internationally accepted means," President Uhuru Kenyatta stated during the launch. 

    The DCI- National Forensic Laboratory building
    The DCI- National Forensic Laboratory building.
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