An undercover investigation by Citizen TV’s Lulu Hassan has exposed the inner workings of prison cartels and how inmates at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison make a lot of money via mobile money fraud.
Lulu Hassan exposes innerworkings of prison cartels in Kamiti [Video]
The fraudsters pay Sh5,000 daily to bribe the prison officers and have their own secluded place to execute their con schemes.
In the investigative feature dubbed Mteja Apatikana Kamiti, Lulu Hassan spoke to an inmate who admitted that the gang has a special place within the prison that is used to conduct their operations.
“There are those who know how to sneak in contrabands such as mobile phones and drugs. You may know how to defraud people but not how to sneak in the phone,” one of the inmates said.
The inmates use a particular brand of phone because it has extra sim card slots and features that help alter their voices during a call.
One of the convicts, David Bett who was jailed for robbery with violence, was named as the biggest beneficiary of the mobile fraud.
He was captured on camera executing his scam as he pretended to be a foreigner, matching his voice with that of his fake identity.
“Some of the victims marvel at the chance of hooking up with a foreigner, even if they don’t understand English very well, they are usually very happy listening to the accent. You have to entice the woman or man you’re targeting with romantic messages for like a week until they desire to meet you.
“When they ask you to visit them, that’s when you bring up issues like the cost of travelling. You can tell them that you are en route from Lodwar and ask them to help you with some money because the petrol attendants don’t take card payments,” the anonymous inmate intimated.
The mobile fraud also takes the form of transport operators with cargo that needs clearance at the port.
“The fraudsters can send one message to up to 1,000 contacts by guessing and selecting numbers randomly,” he stated.
“When there is ongoing recruitment in KDF, you draft a message informing the recipient of the recruitment drive and asking them to send their child’s details for special consideration then send the text to the 1,000 contacts. How many people want their children to join KDF, very many.
“For some victims who are a little stubborn, they are given fake documents said to be from a KDF coordinator in order to convince them,” the convict said.
He added that some of the errands that involve outsiders are facilitated by rogue prison officers. Some more elaborate scheme also involve criminals outside the prison.
To turn a blind eye to the fraudsters, the source claimed that a warden can be silenced with a Sh5,000 daily bride.
This has resulted internal wrangles between the rogue prison warders and their colleagues who disapprove of their dalliance with the convicts.
“The fraudsters are also alerted when there is a looming crackdown or search in their block. They work with some officers to hide the contraband items on the night before the search is conducted. For that they can get Sh2,000,” the source disclosed.
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