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TSC: Court Detains 4 Suspects After DCI Unearths Syndicate.

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TSC: Court Detains 4 Suspects After DCI Unearths Syndicate. Photo Courtesy

Four people were arraigned in court Thursday morning over a major teacher’s recruitment syndicate busted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The cartel which has infiltrated the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been working with some employees to swindle unsuspecting graduates seeking employment millions of shillings on the pretext that they would be offered employment opportunities.

The commission which has embarked on a recruitment drive, last year warned Kenyans of fraudulent activities after a fake advertisement was circulated on social media.

Teachers including principals seeking promotions and transfers have all fallen prey to the cons who have been demanding between Ksh100,000 and 400,000.

The scammers have also targeted retirees with false promises of fast-tracking their pensions.

The detectives Wednesday arrested the mastermind Japheth Kyalo Kioko a former records management employee at TSC who was dismissed in 2014.

He however recruited the commission’s principal accountant Jeremiah Musyoka Talu into his network,  Lawrence Mutunga Mumo who is an electronics engineer and Nathaniel Kanyagia Jambuya.

The suspects will be detained for 14 more days after the court granted custodial orders.

TSC: Court Detains 4 Suspects After DCI Unearths Syndicate. Photo Courtesy

The detectives launched investigations into the scam following numerous complaints from teachers, who had been defrauded colossal sums of money in the shadowy deals.

DCI terms the findings as shocking.

“In a letter written by the Commission’s CEO Dr Nancy Macharia on May 21, 2021, inviting DCI to conduct detailed investigations into the syndicate, Dr Macharia revealed how fraudsters had opened several fake Facebook accounts in her name, and defrauded unsuspecting teachers millions of shillings, on the promise that she would offer them employment opportunities at a fee. Detectives immediately moved in and conducted clinical investigations into the scam. The findings are shocking!” the DCI revealed.

Musyoka has been accessing teachers’ personal information discreetly, before sharing it with the conmen who then approach prospective teachers with authentic information about their application, the applicants are then asked to part with hundreds of thousands of shillings to secure the purported scarce opportunities with TSC.

TSC: Court Detains 4 Suspects After DCI Unearths Syndicate. Photo Courtesy

The suspect has been using the CEO’s fake accounts to lure unsuspecting applicants.

“In order to convince the applicants that they are actually communicating with the CEO, they share with the applicant their personal information as captured in the database such as the schools where they had applied to teach and the subjects they have applied to cover” explains DCI

Unbeknown to them, top education officials have acted on fake appointment letters and others detailing new postings.

“In one such case, a primary school teacher reported to the county director of education in Bomet armed with a letter of posting. The director went further and posted the teacher to a school within the county, where a vacancy existed. However, it was later discovered that her employment letter was fake after she had rendered teaching services for almost one term. A similar case was also reported at a secondary school in Thika” said the DCI.

The fraudsters have been working with rogue officials from the pensions department to con unsuspecting retirees. It was a sad affair for a retired teacher from Webuye who died after the suspects emptied his saving account.

TSC: Court Detains 4 Suspects After DCI Unearths Syndicate.

“One such teacher who had retired in Webuye, lost Sh 700,000 in the intricate network that involved the cons, a shylock and crooked officials based at treasury’s pension department. The teacher was approached by one of the conmen and was enticed into taking a loan from the Nairobi-based shylock” the DCI narrates.

The scammers took his personal details and used them to open an account bearing his name at a bank in Webuye. The details were then shared with the crooked officials at the pension department who processed his pension and wired it to the account.

However, the money was immediately reverted to an account operated from Nairobi, where it was withdrawn.

“The retiree died shortly thereafter. Detectives are currently investigating 14 such cases, involving retirees who have lost their entire savings” adds the DCI.

 

Felicity Gitonga

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