The family of the late PCEA secretary-general Rev. Peter Kania has revealed how fraudsters withdrew Sh3 million from his bank accounts following his death.
After the cleric succumbed to COVID-19 in July last year, the family switched off his phone before his widow turned it on two weeks later. She could not access the contents of the phone despite having the correct PIN.
Armed with a copy of Kania’s death certificate and an affidavit, the family visited the offices of a mobile service provider to establish what was wrong. They were shocked to learn that the deceased’s Sim Card was still in use and had been used to make several financial transactions.
The family was in more shock after they obtained financial details from two banks where Kania had accounts. The accounts had been emptied and used to apply for a loan of Sh500,000.
A probe commenced after the family filed a report at the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Investigators established that criminals started withdrawing money from Kania’s bank accounts through mobile cash transfer service hours after his demise.
Two former bank employees suspected to have been working together with a clerk at the National Registration Bureau have since been arrested in connection with the fraud. The two suspects are said to have been operating a racket of identity theft, which they use to fleece the dead.
The racket allegedly targets rich people who are placed in the obituaries, from where they pick their information and get down to work with the help of IT experts and officials from the Registrar of Persons. They use the information to access and withdraw cash from bank accounts owned by the deceased.