The police in Chuka have arrested a man that is alleged to have swindled several people off their hard earned money through a fake money minting syndicate.
Lawrence Mugendi Kiragu who hails from Ikuu area was nabbed by the police as he tried to mint millions of counterfeit money in one thousand shillings notes for a friend he had met on face book.
Meru-South Sub-County Police Commander John Ngondi said the victim met Mugendi on face book way back in 2018 and continued communicating to the extent of exchanging telephone numbers until December last year when Kiragu called to inform his friend his wish to visit him.
“He informed his friend that he was in Thika and wanted to know what his friend wanted him to bring with him during the visit,” said the Sub-County Police Commander.
Ngondi further disclosed that the suspect won the heart of the victim by bringing him three pineapples to convince him that he was from Thika before lying that he had been in Somalia and had brought with him Sh28 million sent as ransom to Al-Shabaab.
“He managed even to stage manage an inspection by a Central Bank officer to ascertain the authenticity of the money that required a chemical to clean,” said Ngondi.
It is not clear how he lured victims to part with their hand earned cash with the hope of getting millions but by yesterday his luck came to an end as a police snare nabbed him in Chuka town.
Ngondi said the suspect will be presented to court Thursday and cautioned Wananchi not to let their lust for money make them fall prey to such syndicates. He declined to name the victims for their own security.
“There is no free money. Why shouldn’t this Kiragu make the millions for himself rather than making for friends,” said the Sub-County police boss.
This comes only two days after the police cautioned parents over extortionist children after investigations revealed that a secondary school pupil had faked kidnapping to extort money from his parents and relatives.
On Saturday Tharaka Nithi County Criminal Investigation Officer (CCIO) Ms. Betty Chepng’eno called on parents and relatives of any child who claims to have been kidnapped to report to the police for investigations to avoid losing their money to mischievous pupils.
The CCIO made these appeals after elaborately revealing how concerted efforts of detectives from Marimanti, Nkubu, the Tharaka Nithi County headquarters and additional gadget handling experts from the regional office in Embu ‘rescued’ and took a Meru School student back to school where he is expected to undergo counseling and continue with his education.
She had revealed how the detectives used the mobile money transfer app in the ‘victims’ mobile telephone to locate his whereabouts after which the youth gave them a detailed report of his faked kidnap citing his lust for fancy clothes tempted him to perpetrate the crime.
By David Mutwiri