- In some cases, customers were connected to the grid through unregistered post-paid metres.
- The money paid by these customers did not make it to the company’s accounts, but channelled to individual pockets.
- Some domestic customers paid ridiculously high bills of up to Sh300,000 per month.
Kenya power staff colluded with individuals and organisations to steal from consumers through inflated bills, an investigation has revealed.
The finding discredits a claim by the power distribution company last year that the inflated bills were as a result of migration to an Integrated Customer Management System (inCMS) and the backdating of bills in order to recover an outstanding Sh10.1 billion owed by customers.
The inflation of bills, Kenya Power argued, was necessary because it did not want to raise power charges during an election year, so it had to recover the money that had caused a huge hole in their 2017 financial statements.
The Nation learnt that the theft syndicate worked in three ways. In some cases, customers were connected to the grid through unregistered post-paid metres. The money paid by these customers did not make it to the company’s accounts, but channelled to individual pockets.
In the second scheme, some employees from the information technology department lowered bills at the expense of the company in exchange for kickbacks from the consumers who benefited. They would log into the system at night and during weekends from off-site locations and manipulate bills in favour of some consumers.
The third tactic was the boldest. Here, the schemers made money through inflating bills for some customers. They would then sit back and wait for those who would raise complaints.
Some domestic customers paid ridiculously high bills of up to Sh300,000 per month. Those who complained were coerced to part with some money before their bills were regularised.
Last night, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mr George Kinoti, summoned 119 individuals and directors of companies to record statements next week as he ties up a 16-month investigation.
Mr Kinoti said 5,000 customers benefited from the scam. He instructed the companies to report to DCI headquarters along Kiambu road between Monday and Tuesday without fail.