Safaricom staff in MPESA fraud probe

October 9, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – An Employee of Safaricom is among three suspects arrested on Friday over allegations of fraudulent loss of funds through M-PESA transactions.

The employee was arrested from the company’s Buru Buru customer care branch in the presence of journalists while other suspects were picked up from various parts of the city.

The suspect told Capital News that he was arrested over a transaction it is alleged he played part in replacing a customer’s SIM Card.

“I had been questioned about it before,” the employee told Capital News as he was being whisked to a waiting car.

He was picked up at about 11 am from his desk by CID and plainclothes police officers who were also accompanied by some officials from Safaricom.

A senior police officer at the central police station told Capital News the suspects were being questioned and was likely to be arraigned in court once the investigations are completed.

Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph released a press statement assuring that his company was cooperating with investigators over the matter.

He said the arrest followed numerous complaints from their customers in relation to allegations of fraudulent loss of funds in the M-PESA system.

“We sought and have obtained the assistance of the Criminal Investigations Department to assist in carrying out detailed investigations in relation to the same,” he said in the statement.

“These investigations are continuing and as of this (Friday) morning there have been a number of members of the public and a Safaricom staff member who have been arrested by the police to assist them further with these investigations,” he added.

In an earlier interview with Capital News, Mr Joseph had said Safaricom was in the process of putting in place strategies of countering any cases of fraud in M-PESA.

He said: “Safaricom has taken the initiative to set up an anti-money laundering (AML) function in the absence of legislation, based on international best practice to ensure that there are AML controls in place to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing using the M-PESA service.”

“The CBK is aware of the controls in place and supports this initiative,” he added.


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