Ladies and Gentlemen, Kenyans,
If you wondered how a whole former Minister and Governor Aspirant for Tana River County Danson Mungatana was conned Kshs. 76 million, this is how.
Read below, the story of West African smooth con artists.
Cyprian allow me to call this the “white bills” con being run by our brothers from West Africa on non-suspecting Kenyans.
The criminals are people from Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria etc.
The witting con artist approaches you via social media for example Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn in terms of connecting and as usual you’ll respond positively to their messages or accept the connection request as in the LinkedIn’s case.
After sometime, the con artist will send you a message enquiring the business conditions in the country and share with you his business prospects/ambitions in Kenya. He attempts to create an accommodative online relationship with you.
Once the relationship is achieved. The con artist will ask for your contact and communications so that you can shift to WhatsApp.
On WhatsApp the con artist will share with you this incredible business opportunity that they would like to introduce you to.
The incredible Business opportunity
The con artist will convince you that s/he is working with top secret business tycoons in the field of currency printing and have developed high tech chemical solutions and bills materials that makes it possible to replicate a single original note/bill into extra two original bills that you can take to any verification machine(currency counterfeit detecting machine in this case).
The con artist will explain to you that the challenge they are having is obtaining the original notes for production and that’s why they need you to be their local partners to help supply the original notes, and that for all this trouble, they will pay you 100% of your “investment” i.e if you supply them Kshs.50k you’ll get 50k in profit and they will keep the extra 50k (as a single note produces extra 2 notes therefore the 50k will produce 100k in net profit which they split half.
So at the end of production you take home the 50k in profit plus your original 50k notes. I hope you are getting the math here?.
Once the con artist is convinced you understand the business model, s/he initiates procedure two. Which is The sample/proof of concept/printing and subsequent counterfeit checking/confirmation.
The sample or proof of business concept
At this stage the witting con artist suggests you meet with his/her technician so as you can witness a sample work. This move is meant to clear any doubts that the victim may be having concerning the business.
To further convince you, the con artist mentions to you that s/he will be sending the technician to Kenya.
After an hour he sends you a fake passenger manifest, that is, the plane the technician will be boarding, depature from country of origin, seat number and the technician’s name.
By the way, should you ask for the technician contact; you won’t be given instead that con artist informs you that once the technician lands he will buy a local phone number and contact you.
Note that, all this is fake and is provided to the unsuspecting victim in order to gain that trust and for the victim to believe how real the arrangements are. However, what the victim doesn’t know is that the so-called technician is already in the country busy conning others.
The technician will call you pretending to have arrived in the country and how exhausted he is. He then suggests you meet the following day for the sample and asks you to carry Ksh. 1000 note for the sample production.
Remember postponing to the next day is supposed to keep the situation real so that the victim doesn’t question or have doubts about the travel of the so-called technician.
The day arrives and the victim innocently carries the Kshs. 1000 note and meets with the technician at the agreed location.
The technician is welcoming, jovial and looks trusting.
After some time getting to know each other and only when he is convinced you are alone and comfortable around him, the technician pulls out two notes from a bundle. The notes look like this, below.
He pours some powder over the (let’s take an example of 3 notes) notes evenly distributing it.
He then one by one pours a clear chemical solution (which he calls the cleaning solution) using a cotton wool and boom, magic happens before your eyes, the black notes turn into clean real notes.
He then places them on the sun to dry, that is if he doesn’t have means of drying.
While they dry, he narrates to you how you have witnessed the whole production procedure, the chemicals, the materials and the final product.
Stage Four Counterfeit testing
By now the technician knows you are convinced and the only remaining doubts you have is the “originality” of the produced bills.
He therefore asks you to pick you original note from the three using the serial number you noted down.
Then he asks you to pick one of the two to take for counterfeit testing.
He even offers to accompany you to make the tests to the place of your choice, whether a Forex Bureau or a Bank of your choice.
Of course, the note passes the test and it’s confirmed as an original legal tender note.
Now the victim at this point is overwhelmed and has no doubts.
Note that , this is all what they needed to convince the victim.
What the victim missed
- The two white notes produced by the technician as production material were real notes coated with a white substance (my assumption is it’s some kind of white bonding chemical which can be easy cleaned.)
- The so expensive black chemical which turns the notes into black (the chemical the technician claims is for colour extraction from the original note to the other notes) is actually iodine which is being sold for Kshs. 50 shilling in the chemist.
- The white cleaning chemical solution and powder is actually crushed vitamin C to form powder and some dissolved to form liquid.
I guess it takes them 1000 note + 50 Bob of iodine + 20 bob of vitamin C tablets and water to convince the victim.
Time to rip-off the victim
How much investment can you start with?
This question I guess is used to gauge how fat your wallet is so they can approximately establish how much cash they can siphon from you.
If you dare mention anything below 200k they act shocked and disappointed by your numbers.
They then suggest at least 100k will be profitable start for them too.
The technician mentions expenses incurred on buying and shipping of chemicals and materials as the huddle.
If your pocket is fat enough and you agree to it and they are convinced you are rich and there’s a chance of you adding your investment on next production they will sacrifice 100k to pay you as net profit.
Once you receive this first production, you are of course convinced of the business and trust them fully.
For the second production they will ask you to invest at least 250k upwards. That’s the last time you’ll see your money.
If they are convinced the victim has a fat wallet and s/he is hesitant they convince you to even start with 25k as another proof of business. They will sacrifice their 25k to pay you but the next production of course will be 100k or even more.
That’s the last you’ll see the money.
They establish your wallet is slim. They convince you to even start with 15k, my dear brother that’s the last time you’ll see your money.
How do they get away with your money?
You’ll meet for production as usual with your money in the pocket. This time the technician will act dumb and either pack less chemicals or intentionally he will come without the cleaning chemical.
Once the sandwiching is done, the technician will distract you and when you ain’t looking he will switch the real money with a bundle of fake money printed construction papers.
This is normally prepared by the technician before meeting the victim and once the distraction is done, he will proceed with application of chemicals as usual to fake bundle of notes.
He will then excuse himself to go collect the remaining/forgotten chemical and ask for some transport money to pay the taxi guy to ferry him.
Of course, he is leaving you (the victim) with the bundle of money so and oooh! He asked for taxi cash so definitely he is coming back.
This is the last time the victim is going to see the technician.
Aftersome time the technician will text the victim back implying he is nabbed by the police and that the police want “kitu kidogo” (bribe) to let him go.
If the victim is stupid enough, he will send the “kitu kidogo” and will be told that the production can’t be completed until another day.
That’s when reality dawns on the victim that the money is gone and what is left with are bunches of notes construction papers of course after the victim opens the bundle of notes.
So dear Cyprian I’ll like you to expose these cons and if possible, call for CID involvement into this.
Am sure am not the only one conned and even as we speak am sure someone somewhere is being conned.
Help me expose this rotten Western Africans
I’ll like to remain anonymous dear Cyprian because I don’t know how far this conspiracy runs.
But my hope is; it’s exposed and no more Kenyans lose money to these cons again.
Let’s end them.
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