A CCTV image of the man suspected to have booked a newspaper funeral notice in which a photograph of businessman Jimi Wanjigi was used. NMG has appealed the the general public to help trace this man. PHOTO | NMG CCTVA CCTV image of the man suspected to have booked a newspaper funeral notice in which a photograph of businessman Jimi Wanjigi was used. NMG has appealed the the general public to help trace this man. PHOTO | NMG CCTV
By AGEWA MAGUT

The Nation Media Group was on Wednesday caught up in a carefully planned operation to plant the photograph of a National Super Alliance strategist and tender billionaire in the Daily Nation obituary pages.

The advert, which has caused the company embarrassment and Mr Jimi Wanjigi suffering, was placed by a man whose photograph is published here, using fake details.

The man, who seemed to have a good understanding of the newspaper’s operations, booked an advert announcing the death of a Mr James Richard Wanjagi.

AD DEADLINE

The photo he used was of low resolution, lifted off a social media site and converted to black and white to fool a casual examiner.

Even the time of booking was timed to perfection.

He walked into the Nation Ad Centre at 4.40pm, 20 minutes before the rigid deadline, which requires all bookings to be done by 5pm.

This left the clerks — this being their busiest working period — with very little time to verify the information.

The man arrived with the advert already prepared and ready for placing on the page.

Obituaries are ordinarily booked by grieving family members.

BURIAL DATE

CCTV footage released by NMG shows the man dressed in a blue tee-shirt, a pair of blue denim trousers and sneakers.

He was attended to by a staff member in charge of obituary placements and he handed over a flash disk with the photo and text for the obituary.

The employee, with an eye to the looming deadline, quickly scanned the contents of the advertisement for any errors.

The date given for the funeral service and burial were indicated to be on the same day the notice was received, February 6.

It also gave the time for the burial as 3pm, almost two hours earlier than the man showed up to place the ad.

CASH PAYMENT

The employee copied and pasted the advert as presented, complete with fonts different from the rest of the paper.

The suspect, who requested and was given a 10 per cent discount, paid the Sh92,000 in cash.

He gave phony names and the phone number of a woman who said she had never heard of him.

The footage shows him walking out at 5.05pm after the flash disk was returned to him.

POLICE

The Nation Media Group reported the matter to the Central Police Station.

The man is in his mid-30s, light in complexion, plump, about 5 foot 10, with a full beard and short hair.

Those who know him or have any information about him are requested to contact Nation Media Group or the nearest police station.


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