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Four arrested for theft of millions of shillings through fraudulent loans scheme

Four young men are being held in police custody over suspicion of defrauding unsuspecting Kenyans millions of shillings under the guise they would facilitate access to Uwezo Funds loans.

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the suspects created a website similar to that of Uwezo Fund, uwezofund.org, and have been using the name of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to lure their victims into sending Sh500 as an application fee for loan processing.

The four suspects who were arrested on Friday have been identified as Collins Kiptanui, Joakim Kibet, Domnic Kimutai and Brian Kiplagat.

They all hail from Nandi county but were nabbed in Roysambu, Nairobi. DCI said the four suspects are currently in lawful custody and will be arraigned in court on Monday.

On the website, the four claim to have delivered personal loans of up to Sh100,000 to over 600,000 people in Kenya with a range of payment options.

“The amount approved will be sent via MPESA within 30 minutes of application. This amount is based on your previous credit history as well as your usage of Mobile Money services like MPESA,” the site adds.

PHOTO | COURTESY
PHOTO | COURTESY

It even includes purported testimonials from Public Service and Youth Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh and two alleged past beneficiaries to back up their scheme.

Members of the public first voiced their complaints over the fraudulent scheme in July after taking notice of a Facebook page purporting to issue loans on behalf of the government.

FAKE WEBSITE

The Facebook advertisements from the page titled “Uwezo Fund Online Loans” was always accompanied by photos of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta posing with Mrs Rachel Ruto, the wife of the Deputy President, in an apparent bid to get legitimacy.

It also used the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) logo.

“Uwezo Fund Kenya in partnership with Youth Enterprise Fund has launched a fund which gives you access to fast and convenient interest free loans to your M-Pesa. Youths, women and men from any part of the country will benefit,” reads a message on the website.