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Nairobi — Detectives have arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of engaging on fraudulent dealings and conning unsuspecting Kenyans of their hard-earned money.
The suspect, identified as Justin Mwirigi Murungi, is accused of defrauding unsuspecting clients through a non-existing online gas cylinder shop according to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
The DCI said the suspect who appeared before court Monday was apprehended following complaints from a section of Kenyans about his dubious dealings.
“In one such instance, Robert Isiche Mzee, a resident of Langata, unknowingly found himself in the grasp of the serial fraudster. Mzee, through hard work and grit had made some profits and was brainstorming on the best business to invest his hard-earned money. After much deliberations, he settled on setting up a gas vending business within Kamulu area,” the agency said
The agency stated that the victim was shopping online for a place to source the cylinders when he came across a Facebook page advertising the exact business in November last year.
The page which goes by the name Heritage Gas Wholesalers had information detailing the business as dealing with gas cylinders, with several brands of cooking gas displayed.
The page also had a contact number and the contact person’s name given as Kelvin Mwangi.
“After satisfactorily double-checking the page, Mzee dialed the number and made inquiries where he was assured of the availability of the gas cylinders and that the company would delivery from their warehouse located along Lumumba Road, Makupa in Mombasa County,” the agency said.
Contented with the assurance by the fraudster, the would-be victim went ahead and placed an order of 60 gas cylinders at a total cost of Sh354,000.
The DCI stated that the suspect wet forward to send a quotation and requested the victim to pay a commitment fee of Sh118,000 to speed-up the processing.
After brief negotiations, the suspect agreed to waive the commitment fee to Sh100,000 on grounds that the victim was going to purchase the products in bulk.
The agency said that the two reached an agreement despite the fact that the victim did not know the identity of the individual behind the Facebook page.
“On the 3rd day of December 2021, Mzee transferred Sh100,000 via M-pesa mobile money transfer to the con’s number. He was to be paid the rest of the money upon delivery of the cylinders. A day and another passed by without Mzee receiving the products as earlier agreed, prompting him to read malice. Upon making calls, the scammer started giving flimsy excuses as to why the cylinders had not been delivered,” the DCI said.
The DCI stated that the suspect refused to pick victim’s calls and later resorted to blocked him.
“Realizing that he had been duped, the complainant made a report at Lang’ata Police station Detectives from DCI Lang’ata, augmented by sleuths drawn from the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau-CRIB, applied detailed forensic analysis at the DCI National Forensic Laboratory and traced Justin Mwirigi Murungi who was immediately arrested within Thika Township,” the agency stated.
A copy of a national ID card with the names of Kelvin Brian Mwangi was also recovered from the suspect.