Detectives launched a manhunt for the main suspect behind the infamous Mulot sim swap syndicate, which recently wiped clean an MP's bank account.
According to the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) report filed on Wednesday, December 28, the Mulot syndicate infiltrated a bank account belonging to a legislator from Rift Valley and made away with Ksh941,000.
This incident occurred when the undisclosed lawmaker travelled out of the country between Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3.
According to DCI's preliminary report, the main suspect on the police wanted list, orchestrated the online heist by hijacking the victim's phone number before gaining access to his details.
Together with other Mulot syndicate members, they used the mobile number to gain access to sensitive personal data and bank accounts.
They also accessed mobile banking applications on the victim's phone before wiping clean the accounts.
After learning of the heist and realising his account had zero balance, the legislator reported the incident, which led to the arrest of two suspects who are believed to be part of the syndicate.
"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's statement read in part.
"The suspects who have registered multiple SIM cards using details from fraudulently acquired identification documents, deposit the siphoned money to different Mpesa accounts, in a bid to make it difficult for detectives to track them down," DCI added.
Detectives alleged that the suspect worked in cahoots with some banking officials to pose as customer care agents who sought the customer's account numbers, PIN and details of the last transaction on the targeted account.
They then use the details to duplicate the victims’ accounts, and after a successful SIM swap, the account is swept clean in a matter of seconds.
Preliminary reports also indicated that the syndicate targetted local financial institutions with less advanced banking technologies.
Besides the MP, the syndicate has focussed on other senior government officials in the past. Peter Mwanzo, Nakuru police boss, lost over Ksh597,000.
The police boss lost the money within six hours. He testified before magistrate Mary Mwendwa narrating the ordeal that occurred on January 4, 2022.
"Within less than six hours Ksh597,100 had been transferred from my Bank account to my mobile banking account and later sent to a number unknown to me and withdrawn in Mulot, Bomet county. How this happened is still a mystery to me," Mwanzo stated.
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