Facebook Con Cornered By DCI

Written By John Mutiso 📝

A middle-aged man was arrested by detectives and arraigned in court for engaging in fraudulent dealings and conning unsuspecting Kenyans.

Justin Mwirigi Murungi, a perennial online fraudster who has been duping clients through a non-existent online gas cylinder shop, was tracked down and apprehended by detectives after a number of Kenyans launched complaints about his dubiousdealings.

According to a DCI report, in one such case, Robert Isiche Mzee, a resident of Lang’ata, 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.

In November of last year, while looking for a place to get the cylinders online, he came across a Facebook page advertising the exact business.

The Heritage Gas Wholesalers page detailed the company’s business as dealing with gas cylinders, with several brands of cooking gas displayed. The page also included a phone number and the name of the contact person, 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 DCI tweeted.

The would-be victim, satisfied with the fraudster’s assurance, proceeded to place an order for 60 gas cylinders at a total cost of 354,000 shillings. The conman then sent him a quotation and asked him to pay a commitment fee of 118,000 shillings in order for the processing to be expedited.

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“After brief negotiations, he accepted to waive the commitment fee to 100,000 shillings since Mzee was going to purchase the products in bulk. The agreement was sealed, despite the fact that Mzee had no clue of who was behind the Facebook page or how he looked like,” the DCI added.

Mzee then transferred 100,000 shillings to the con’s number via M-pesa mobile money transfer on December 3, 2021 waiting to pay the rest of the money upon delivery of the cylinders.

Days passed without Mzee receiving the products as earlieragreed, prompting him to read malice, and upon making calls, the scammer began giving flimsy excuses as to why the cylinders had not been delivered before eventually failing to pick Mzee’s calls and eventually blocking him completely.

“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 DCI stated.

The DCI recovered a copy of a national ID card bearing the name Kelvin Brian Mwangi from the suspect.

The suspect appeared in court yesterday, facing multiple charges, including conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by false pretense, and being in unlawful possession of and unlawfully using identification in violation of section 14(f) of the Registration of Persons Act, Cap 107 Laws of Kenya.

Other Kenyans who have been conned by the suspect are urged to visit DCI Lang’ata and file complaints.

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