M-Pesa con artist charged in Garissa

A 27 year old man has been arraigned before a Garissa court and charged with fraudulently obtaining money from M-Pesa operators within the town.

This is the second time in less than two months that the accused Abdirizak Hassan Ibrahim is being arraigned in court for the same offence.

The accused was charged that between 11th and 13th of this month he fraudulently obtained a total of shs 161,000 from three different M-Pesa operators within Garissa town.

Ibrahim allegedly obtained shs 32,000 from Rashid Abdi Hassan, another shs 29,000 from Asad Sheikh Abdiwahab and a further shs 100,000 from Omar Mohamed Dolal all totaling shs 161,000.

The court was told that on various dates the accused approached the M-Pesa operators requesting for deposits of the amounts to his phone while pretending to be counting the money and making a phone call.

Immediately he receives a confirmation massage of the deposits, the accused sneaks out of the shop while the operator busy is serving other customers and disappears.

The prosecution claims that Ibrahim normally targets busy M-Pesa shops mostly run by semi-illiterate young men and women.

It is alleged that the suspect is working with a cartel that he forwards the M-Pesa messages and the money received is immediately withdrawn.

In July 18th this year, Ibrahim was arrested and charged with conning Bashir Nassir Mohamed of shs 180,000 in the same manner.

Ibrahim was however released after his close relatives claimed he was of unsound mind and prepared to refund the complainant only to be arrested again for the same offence.

The accused who was appearing before Chief Magistrate Cosmas Maundu however denied the charges.

Request by Ibrahim to be granted bond was objected by the prosecution arguing that it will put the life of the accused in danger.

The court asked the investigating officer to file an affidavit and state why the accused should not be granted bond and be presented to the court latest September 26.

The accused will be remanded at the Garissa GK prisons until November 22 when the case will be heard.

Story by Amos Sambu

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