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How con artists prey on clients inside city’s shops

Conmen are stealing from customers inside Nairobi’s downtown shops as defenceless traders watch.

The dangerous men pose as attendants inside shops on River Road, Kirinyaga Road, Luthuli Avenue, and Race Course Road and threaten the shop owners with dire consequences should they warn their clients.

Mr James Gichuki was said he was robbed on Friday last week, right over the counter of a Kirinyaga Road shop where he had gone to buy spare parts for his car.

He entered the shop, ordered for the spare parts and an attendant offered to fetch them from another shop. He said he handed over Sh16,000 as the ‘attendant’ left the shop never to be seen again.

“I entered the shop and I was looking for some spare parts for my car. A man who was standing at the door in a navy blue apron approached me and I gave him the list that my mechanic had written.

“Out of the owner’s earshot, he told me there was a shop selling the items at a much lower price,” Mr Gichuki said.

Dustcoat

“He offered to go buy them for me. Another man standing near the shop counter who was in a navy blue dustcoat directed him to a certain shop,” he said.

“Since the two were inside the shop and looked confident, I believed them. In any case, one was going to be left with me, so I developed confidence and I handed over the money,” he said.

“They were supposed to buy all the spares at Sh15,750 and return my change. The one who remained offered me a chair as I continued waiting.”

Around 45 minutes later, the man had not returned and the other one offered to go and check on him. 

Gichuki said he sat there for another 30 minutes before one of the women at the shop’s counter approached him.

“She confirmed my fears and told me that I should have gone to the counter directly,” he says. 

Traders said the cartel, is guarded and that is why the conmen have the guts to operate even inside one’s shop without fear.