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Court frees 5 cyber-crime suspects found with over 2,000 sim cards

The directorate of criminal investigations (DCI) on Friday lost an application to detain five men arrested in Kasarani on suspicion of involvement in electronic fraud and found with more than 2,000 sim cards for 10 days pending investigations.

Simon Githinji Njenga, Wilson Mengo Githinji, James Gitonga Maina and Ian Mbogo Kamau were released on a Sh50,000 bond each with an alternative cash bail of Sh30,000.

They were allegedly found with 1,720 Safaricom sim cards and 426 others belonging to Airtel at a house in Kasarani.

Detective constable Japheth Omutelema of Kasarani DCI offices had sought custodial orders to detain the suspects while investigating the suspects’ alleged fraudulent activities.

But senior resident magistrate Charles Mwaniki of Kibera law courts said there is no need for the detention of the suspects.

But the suspects’ three vehicles impounded by the police will remain at the Kasarani police station.

The areas of investigations to be covered include analysing the 1,720 newly registered Safaricom sim cards and 426 unregistered Airtel sim cards recovered from the suspects’ residence.

Omutelema said holders of the ID cards used to register the sim cards without their knowledge are yet to record statements.

Five laptops and four mobile phones have been taken to the cybercrime unit for analysis and harvesting of information but the exercise has not been concluded.

Mwaniki directed the suspects to report to the Kasarani DCI offices on August 20 before returning to the court on August 24.