Wanted Mulot SIM swap syndicate leader David Mutai alias Hillary Langat Matindwet was Friday December 30 morning arrested in Kericho Town.
He was arrested outside local KCB bank where members of the public who spotted him tried to attack him.
Noticing the danger in waiting he ran to KCB compound amid chase from a mob that was after him.
Police intervened and arrested him before calling for reinforcements to help keeping the mob at bay and rescue the suspect, police said.
He was taken to the local DCI offices ahead of planned movement to Nairobi and later prosecution.
Mutai had vied and failed as an MCA in 2022 polls in Bomet.
Police had circulated his details saying he was wanted over claims of fraud.
But he seems to have ignored and tried another heist.
Detectives unmasked him as the mastermind of the infamous Mulot SIM swap syndicate saying he was a dangerous criminal who has previously served time in prison and has several cases and warrants of arrests hanging around his neck.
This follows comprehensive investigations by the detectives based at the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, who unraveled the identity of the de facto leader of the criminal enterprise, responsible for SIM swap scam in which phone scammers hijack a victim’s cell phone number.
He and his gang then use it to gain access to sensitive personal data and bank accounts through the mobile banking applications available on mobile phones.
In a recent case leading to the arrest of two of his accomplices, the scammers had siphoned Sh941,000 from a bank account belonging to a legislator from Rift Valley, who was out of the country on official duties between December 2 and 3.
Following the incident reported by the legislator, one of Mutai’s lieutenants Justus Rono, 28, was tracked down by detectives and arrested in the fraudsters paradise of Mulot, a dusty town shared between Bomet and Narok counties.
Rono, who disguises himself as a boda boda rider is one of the main suspect’s trusted allies, who ferries him on his bike discreetly to avoid detection from police.
Images of Rono showing off wads of cash following some of the successful operations that they have conducted, were also obtained by the detectives.
A second suspect identified as Kevin Kiplagat, was also apprehended at Sigor market Bomet county, in the latest arrest of SIM swap fraudsters who have sought refuge in the infamous trading centre that has gained notoriety for harbouring cons.
The fraudsters who have also perfected the act of impersonating senior government officials recently obtained an unspecified amount of money from unsuspecting members of the public, after posing as a senior state official who would influence employment and business opportunities at a fee.
According to the DCI, the suspects who have registered multiple SIM cards using details from fraudulently acquired identification documents, deposit the siphoned money to different Mpesa accounts, in a bid to make it difficult for detectives for track them down.
In some instances, the fraudsters working in cahoots with rogue banking officials pose as customer care agents from banks then ask for a customer’s account number, PIN, as well as details of the last transaction on the targeted account.
They then use the details to duplicate the victims’ account and after a successful SIM swap, the account is swept clean in a matter of seconds.
Local financial institutions are the most targeted due to their inferior network segmentation systems, that expose their clients’ sensitive data to the fraudsters incase of cyber threats.
Police want Kenyans not to reveal their national identity card name and number, the last time they made an M-Pesa transaction and the amount, the last airtime top-up and amount and the Personal Identification Number of their sim cards to strangers who contact them.