A 27-year-old man from Garissa County was on Friday, September 15 charged with obtaining money from M-Pesa operators by deception.
This is the second time – in less than two months – the accused, Abdirizak Hassan Ibrahim, is being arraigned for the same offence.
The court heard that Ibrahim fraudulently obtained Ksh161, 000 from three M-Pesa operators within Garissa town between September 11 and 13. He allegedly obtained Ksh32, 000 from Rashid Abdi Hassan; another Ksh29, 000 from Asad Sheikh Abdiwahab and a further Ksh100, 000 from Omar Mohamed Dolal on the various dates.
Ibrahim denied the charge before Chief Magistrate Cosmas Maundu.
The court heard that on the various dates, the accused approached the M-Pesa operators asking if he could deposit to his M-Pesa account the respective amounts of money. When told it was possible, he would allegedly pretend to be counting the money and making a phone call.
Once he received a confirmation message, showing that the money had been deposited to his M-Pesa account, Ibrahim would sneak out of the shop while the operator was busy serving other customers, the court heard.
According to the prosecution, Ibrahim “normally targets busy M-Pesa shops; mostly run by semi-illiterate young men and women”.
The suspect allegedly works with a cartel, which he sends the received money. The money is immediately thereafter withdrawn.
In July 18, 2017, Ibrahim was arrested and charged with conning Bashir Nassir Mohamed of Ksh180, 000 using a similar trick.
Ibrahim was, however, released after his close relatives claimed he was of unsound mind.
The relatives promised Mohamed that they would refund him the amount of money he’d lost to Ibrahim.
A request by Ibrahim to be granted a bond Friday was objected by the prosecution, arguing it would 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. The affidavit is expected to be presented in court latest September 26.
The accused will be remanded at the Garissa GK Prison until November 22, when the case will be heard.