The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers have uncovered a cartel believed to have swindled unsuspecting teachers millions of shillings. The teachers have been conned while in a bid to secure employment, promotions and transfers to renowned established schools.
The cartel that has infiltrated the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC)
database (where crucial teachers’ records are stored), is working in cahoots with employees in crucial departments, within the headquarters of the country’s teachers employer.
Detectives launched investigations into the scam, following a probe by the commission’s internal investigations department. The department had received numerous complains from teachers, who had been defrauded colossal sums of money in the shadowy deals.
Dr. Macharia sought for assistance.
In a letter written by the Commission’s CEO Dr Nancy Macharia on May 21, 2021, inviting DCI to conduct detailed investigations into the syndicate, Dr Macharia revealed how fraudsters had opened several fake Facebook accounts in her name, and defrauded unsuspecting teachers millions of shillings, on the promise that she would offer them employment opportunities at a fee.
Detectives immediately moved in and conducted clinical investigations into the scam. The findings are shocking!
The syndicate involving current and a former employee at the commission has left hundreds of teachers including the retired poor and hopeless after defrauding them their hard earned money.
In a well-choreographed syndicate, detectives established that the mastermind of the scheme Japheth Kyalo Kioko, is a former records management employee at the commission, who graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Human Resources. Kyalo was dismissed from the commission in 2014 on grounds of questionable integrity.
However, he successfully recruited the commission’s principal accountant Jeremiah Musyoka Talu in his network. Musyoka has been accessing teachers’ personal information discreetly, before sharing it with the cons.
In an elaborate scheme unearthed by detectives from the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, Musyoka accesses the database and fishes out details of prospective teachers, who have made applications to join the noble profession.
He then shares the information with Musyoka who uses the CEO’s fake accounts to lure unsuspecting applicants. In order to convince the applicants that they are actually communicating with the CEO, they share with the applicant their personal information as captured in the database such as the schools where they had applied to teach and the subjects they have applied to cover.
Confronted with all these facts, the applicants fall for the trap hook, line, and sinker. They are asked to part with hundreds of thousands of shillings to secure the scarce opportunities, lest they are offered to other deserving applicants.
In one such case, a primary school teacher reported to the county director of education in Bomet armed with a letter of posting. The director went further and posted the teacher to a school within the county, where a vacancy existed.
However, it was later discovered that her employment letter was fake after she had rendered her services for almost one term. A similar case was also reported at a secondary school in Thika, where a teacher from Kisii travelled all the way and took up a teaching position at the school. Later, it was discovered that he had not been hired procedurally after covering lessons for a whole month.
The fraudsters working with rogue officials from the pensions department also target teachers due to retire and cajole them with promises of fast tracking their pension at a fee. In the end, the teachers lose their entire pension and savings to the marauding phonies.
One such teacher, who had retired in Webuye, lost Sh 700,000 in the intricate network that involved the cons, a shylock and crooked officials based at treasury’s pension department.
The teacher was approached by one of the conmen and was enticed into taking a loan from the Nairobi-based shylock. Unbeknownst to the retiree, the scammers took his personal details and used them to open an account bearing the his name at a bank in Webuye.
The details were then shared with the crooked officials at the pension department who processed his pension and wired it to the account. However, the money was immediately reverted to an account operated from Nairobi, where it was withdrawn. The retiree died shortly thereafter. Detectives are currently investigating 14 such cases, involving retirees who have lost their entire savings.
Detectives further uncovered that the cons target recently graduated teachers whose chances of being hired are slim. With the offer of securing a teaching position ahead of their seniors who graduated earlier, they quickly part with the money demanded, ranging from Sh100,000 to Sh400,000.
Teachers who hold senior positions such as principals and their deputies eagerly waiting to hold managerial positions have also not been left out in the vicious con game. Principals are promised transfers to schools that are considered prestigious at a fee, while their deputies in the hope of ascending to the top, also part with huge sums of money.
Four suspects have since been arrested in connection with the scam. They include the mastermind Japheth Kyalo Kioko the mastermind of the fraud, Jeremiah Musyoka Talu who is the commission’s principal accountant, Lawrence Mutunga Mumo who is an electronics engineer and Nathaniel Kanyagia Jambuya.
The suspects were arraigned in court, where custodial orders were granted to hold them for 14 more days, as investigations ensue.
Anyone who may have fallen victim to the suspects’ trickery craft (photos attached) is requested to report to the Serious Crime Investigations Unit and assist us in further investigations.