In Summary
  • Mr Nyumu was arrested in Athi River, Machakos County, by Kenyan detectives seconded to Interpol.
  • If extradited, Mr Nyumu will be flown to Kansas where he will be charged with, among other counts, identity theft and conspiring to steal from the Internal Revenue Service.

In November 2008, the dreams of a Kenyan family that had sent its two daughters to the United States for further studies came crashing after Lorreta Wavinya and Lilian Nzongi were arrested for masterminding a scheme that defrauded the American government of more than $15 million (Sh1.5 billion).

The two sisters were charged together with 15 others. In total, they claimed more than 540 fraudulent tax returns using identities of more than 500 victims and occasioned losses to at least 27 states.

Most of this money ended up in banks in Kenya and was immediately withdrawn at ATMs in Nairobi after being bounced to accounts across the world. It was a complex international crime that forced the US to update its identity theft laws.

But for over 12 years, Mr Edwin Sila Nyumu walked free in Kenya as his nine suspected co-conspirators in the fraud scheme served their sentences in American federal prisons. This is despite being listed in 2013 among Interpol’s most wanted people. On Tuesday, his run came to an end.

INTERPOL

Mr Nyumu was arrested in Athi River, Machakos County, by Kenyan detectives seconded to Interpol. He was presented at a Nairobi court yesterday where Interpol sought to extradite him but he claimed his charges in the US have been dropped.

Police, however, said they received information from Interpol that some Kenyans were wanted in the USA for alleged fraud offences. An affidavit filed in court by Corporal Gerald Kamwaro said Nairobi Interpol had contacted the US National Central Bureau Interpol to forward extradition documents against Mr Nyumu.

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