A syndicate of fraudsters are conning un-suspecting Kenyans hundreds of millions of shillings exploiting what may Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko’s facebook platform with the full knowledge of some police officers in Nairobi.
The members of the syndicate this week posted on the platform announcement purporting to be Mike Sonko Mbuvi giving out 15 motor bicycles for free with priority going to the very first respondents in their order.
The respondents were required to inbox their personal details to the Facebook messenger purported to be Mike Sonko’s , that is their full official names, their contact telephone numbers and the physical address where the motor bicycle was to be delivered.
One of the respondents believing it was a genuine posting by the Senator received an SMS message saying that he was being congratulated for having emerged the respondent following the posting on the morning of Tuesday January 3rd.
Then he was given a Safaricom telephone 0723212946 number by an individual purporting to be Sonko claiming the number was for his personal assistant simply called Mr. George with whom the respondent should immediately get in touch with to expedite the process of sending him the purported brand new motor bicycle.
The man purporting to be Mr. Mbuvi told the respondent that he will be required to pay up Kshs. 4, 200 to facilitate the processing of the transfer of the motorbike’s log book as a winner of the New Year windfall.“If you can afford to pay then contact my personal assistant
immediately through my direct helpline telephone 0723212946. He is Mr.George,” says the SMS allegedly from Mike Sonko.
When the said third lucky respondent called the number mentioned above, the man who identified himself as Mr. George pretend to consult Sonko and then confirm to the respondent that he indeed was the third winner, therefore he should send to him the required log book processing cash through MPESA.
The responded had told him that raising the required Kshs. 4,200 would not be difficult for him and actually excited went full blast to get the required cash to send it to the purported personal assistant of Mr. Mbuvi.
However, on second thoughts he decided to cross check it out with the Senators office at the Kenyatta Convention Centre (KICC) where he was shocked to learn from the police officer on duty that it was a con game and he was not the first person to be duped into the scam.
The Police officer said: “As a matter of fact consider yourself very lucky because we have already witnessed others who had already paid the money, but now can no longer reach the individual claiming to be the Senator’s personal assistant.”
The officers revealed that the Senator’s presence at his KICC office of late has been scarce and there was virtually nobody manning it on any working day. Following these developments, the victim sent an SMS to the Senator saying: “hi Mhesh. Happy New Year. By any chance are you giving out motor bikes via facebook game?” – But by the time we went to press he had not received any response.
This development prompted the respondent to go and report at the Parliament Police Station where he was shocked to learn that he was the fourth person to report the matter to them one individual victim
having earlier gone to the station in the company of the Senator himself.
However what was more shocking is the fact that most of the officers at the station discouraged to pursue the matter leave alone even recording down in the official Occurrence Book (OB) at the station’s counter.
This state of affairs and the fact that the police were aware of the un-folding criminal rip-off from un-suspecting members of the public but doing nothing about it brought into focus possibilities of their involvement and pocketing part of the proceeds.“The police told me that they suspected that one of the individuals executing the rip-off scam is suspected to be a former Personal Assistant of Mr. Mbuvi who was relieved of his duties sometimes back, but they were doing nothing about it why?,” he posed.
When one of the police officers tried to lead the respondent to the OB to record the details of the incident, his colleague said: “Hata hakuna haja ya kusumbukana na hiyo mambo kwa sababu hakuna mahali itakwenda. (There is no point in bothering yourself with this matter because it is not going to go anywhere).”
However the determined near victim further tried to find out under whose name the above telephone number was registered with the service provider by simply sending a Kshs. 10 and getting the result that the money had been sent to Michael Mbuvi.
This brings into question whether Mbuvi was aware and involved into the scam directly or whether his former personal assistant as implicated by the police registered the number with Safaricom purporting to be Michael Mbuvi when he was not but with nefarious intentions.
What is clear is that the Facbook account clearly gives a powerful impression that it belongs to the Senator complete with many personal pictures of his in both private and public functions, vehicles among
other activities regularly posted on the account.
It also has more than 3, 700 followers which indicates that the account is not a new one but has been in operation for many months for it to accumulate such a number of followers, but many questions remained un-answered as un-suspecting members of the public continue being fleeced off their hard earned cash.