Senior agency manager conned Sh9m by love-struck Ghanaian
A senior manager with a mobile money lending agency was allegedly conned Sh9 million by a Ghanaian lover she met on an online dating site.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives arrested the foreigner, Victor Anane, on Monday in connection with obtaining the money from the love struck woman.
According to a brief from the DCI, Anane had promised to help the woman turn her fortunes around, if she fell in love with him.
The woman, yearning for love, security and promotion at work, fell for the trick.
The victim told the police that she met Anane online and he introduced himself as a preacher, who performs miracles. Once he won the woman’s confidence, which in this case did not take long, he started asking for money from her.
“He also assured the victim he would help her get promotion at her place of work instantly,” the DCI said.
The two dated for some time before the foreigner finally invited the woman to his residence in Transview Estate in Athi River, Machakos county.
“By this time, she had already given her new boyfriend Sh9 million, under unclear circumstances,” the DCI said.
It was established that some of the money the woman gave the foreigner had been obtained from the accounts belonging to the money lending firm, where the woman works.
During her maiden visit, the woman was however, shocked to find paraphernalia associated with witchcraft and magical rituals in the house of the man she had already loved, and believed was a man of God.
“The woman discovered that she had been conned and reported the matter to the police.
Detectives raided the house and recovered the paraphernalia and a total of Sh76,000 in fake currency and other materials used in printing fake money,” the DCI said yesterday.
The investigators further established that the suspect, who masquerades as a preacher, approaches innocent women looking for love and affection online, with promises of making their lives better before fraudulently obtaining money from them.
The suspect, who has been in custody, is expected to be presented in court on charges obtaining money by false pretense today among other charges.
Experts, online romance scams have risen drastically and have become easier and profitable, despite the fact that they are largely underreported.
Kenyans on social media blamed the woman’s predicament to her greed which make many victims susceptible to such con games.
“You give someone money to perform miracles to help you get more money, that’s stupidity! Money isn’t earned through miracles!” a reader said.
Another reader wrote: “But with all due respect, what crime did this man commit?
It was this woman’s naivety and stupidity that landed her into all these fracas, ogah brother committed no crime here I beg.”
Comfort of their houses
Police say some foreigners now target wealthy single women, by playing a wealthy bachelor.
After sweeping their victims off their feet, into marriage, then away to the bank, for example to open a joint account, before they make a quick exit.
The fraudsters no longer need to marry to get the victim’s money; they don’t even need to physically meet them.
Instead, the con artists can work from the comfort of houses or in a cybercafé, working on several victims.
According to experts, romantic ploys are among the most common tricks. Most of the victims are aged between 40 and 70, mostly single and financially well endowed.
In other cases, the conmen have used their victims to unwittingly carry out money-making schemes, like cashing fake cheques and shipping goods bought with stolen credit cards.
In areas of Greenspan, Donholm, Jacaranda estates in Nairobi county and Ruaka in Kiambu county, foreigners with no jobs and no known source of income other than these scams. Most of them have less technical expertise, and instead use mind games.
Kenyan women prefer foreigners, preferably from the West and West African nations whom they say are romantic, loving and caring. Unfortunately, some con foreigners have capitalised on this weakness and use it to con them.