In Summary
  • Police have seized at least Sh50 billion worth of fake currency in foreign denominations, mostly dollars, based on media accounts alone since the beginning of the year.
  • This makes it difficult to know how much fake currency could be out there. But experts say it should be a cause of concern for Kenyans.

Is there an upsurge in the supply of fake gold and currency in Nairobi or are recent seizures merely a sign that police have intensified their war on the criminal syndicates responsible?

This is the question Kenyans are pondering after the arrest of eight people on Tuesday in connection with the trade in fake gold and currency. This brought to 18 the number of people apprehended since the year started.

The new arrests in Karen in the early morning came just 17 hours after six people were rounded up in Kilimani.

SERVICE REVAMP

In the latter incident, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) seized over 50kg of suspected fake gold nuggets from a house on Lenana Road.

“Detectives acting on information have today arrested four Rwandan nationals — Niyitegeka Seveun, Dushimirimana Egide, Zilimwabagabu Jacques, Ngaragura Emmanuel — and two Kenyans, Grace Wairimu and Erascos Katiku,” said the DCI on its Twitter page.

“I want to believe as a service it is within our limits to crush any fake gold or cash syndicates that come up,” says police spokesman Charles Owino.

Sources in security circles told the Nation that a change of guard at the Serious Crimes Prevention Unit could be one of the reasons police have mounted a serious war on the syndicates that have threatened to turn Kenya into a fraud capital.

ECONOMY

On Tuesday morning, DCI officers seized 100kg of fake gold and millions of in fake US dollars and Zambian kwachas.

“Four foreigners — one Congolese, two Tanzanians, one Nigerian — and four Kenyans were arrested,” said the DCI.

In total, police have seized at least Sh50 billion worth of fake currency in foreign denominations, mostly dollars, based on media accounts alone since the beginning of the year.

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