Russian arrested in Kenya with 107 ATM cards

January 14, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – A man who claims to be a Russian was arrested in Nairobi on Thursday after he was found withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM) while in possession of 107 fake bank cards.

The man was arrested at the CFC Stanbic branch on Kimathi Street at about noon, police and bank officials said.

A guard at the bank told Capital News they became suspicious after the suspect took too long at the ATM outlet during which he made several withdrawals.

“That is when we started monitoring him. Shortly after, he came out of the ATM but by then we had already alerted the management,” the guard said, “we then detained him and called the police.”

Anti-Banking Fraud police officers backed by their colleagues from the Central police station later arrived at the bank and upon searching the man, they recovered some 107 fake credit cards and Sh140,000 in cash.

"We are trying to interrogate him to get information but he is too uncooperative. He is not helpful to us at all,” a police officer who had spent two hours with him said.

Another officer from the Banking Fraud department told Capital News that they had received numerous complaints from various commercial banks about the loss of large sums of money stolen using fake debit and credit cards.

The man sat quietly as photojournalists clicked away and at some point asked “you are taking too many pictures of me, where are you taking them?”

The suspect remained quiet and appeared to be keen on what the police were doing with the cards recovered from his small pouch.

The man who spoke broken English declined to sign an inventory presented to him by the police to show the items and money recovered from him.

He even declined to reveal his real names and did not have any identification documents or a passport. When journalists sought to know what he had been doing in the country he said, “I am on holiday.”

He declined to answer any questions regarding the items recovered from him and kept on saying “ask the police, I don’t know.”

Police said they would conduct a search in his house before taking him to court. No charges had been preferred against him by Thursday evening.

Sources at the Banking Fraud department said an average of Sh100 million is stolen every month in fraud-related cases across the country.

Last month, a total of Sh130 million was stolen in multiple fraud cases reported in banks and other financial institutions countrywide. The Banking Fraud Investigations Department said it received 43 cases which involved 53 suspects who were allegedly involved in the reported fraud.

Sources at the Treasury and at the BFID said there was an increase in fraud cases during the month of November and December as compared to the previous months, in what was attributed to the festive season where fraudsters were out to make money for the festivities and holidays.

Much of the money was stolen through stolen blank cheques, Electronic Funds Transfer, loans counterfeits; computer fraud, theft by servant and forgery.


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