Man lands in trouble after robbers used his lost ID card to commit crime

A Kenyan farmer has landed himself in trouble after refusing to report his lost ID card, which was used by criminals to register a System Identification Module (SIM) card and then used for criminal activities.

Mr Tobias Onyango Aiko from Kawese village in Kisumu East Sub County was charged at the Makadara Law Courts in Nairobi with stealing a mobile phone worth Sh19,000, and Sh452,000 transferred from Mpesa and a bank account of a victim of robbery with violence.

Mr Aiko is charged with stealing the phone and the cash from Elizabeth Makotsi in Eastleigh, Nairobi, on May 4 this year, who was robbed by thugs armed with crude weapons before the cash transfer was effected.

Ms Makotsi was headed to a shopping mall in the business area when she was accosted by three women and two men who robbed her of her handbag containing the phone and sped off on two standby motorcycles.

She later reported the incident at the Eastleigh police station, and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) took up investigations. But hours later, she discovered that a total of Sh452, 000 had been transferred from her Mpesa and a bank account and then sent to several phone numbers.

She requested Safaricom Limited and the bank to stop further transfers and shared the same information with the DCI.

During investigations, the DCI established that a SIM card registered using Mr Aiko’s ID card had received some of the money transferred from Ms Makotsi’s accounts and traced and arrested him.

Officers from DCI Starehe’s office requested his area chief to summon him to her office, where they arrested him and escorted him to Nairobi.

He was held at the Ruaraka police station from July 24 as DCI carried out investigations until he was later charged.

Mr Aiko denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Irene Mwangi and told the court that his first and last time in Nairobi was in 1988, when he visited his brother, who worked in the city.

He added that he even does not know where Eastleigh is.

Mr Aiko said he lost his national ID in 2017 and replaced it the following year and had no connection with the SIM cards that received the cash sent from Ms Makotsi’s accounts.

The trouble with Mr Aiko arises from the fact that he never reported the loss of his ID card to the police before it was used to register the SIM cards that were later used for criminal activities.

He escaped robbery charges with violence because there was no evidence to place him at the crime scene where Ms Makotsi was robbed.

The suspect was released on a bond of Sh100, 000, a surety of a similar amount, and an alternative cash bail of Sh50, 000.

The case will be mentioned on August 31 before the hearing starts on October 11, 2023.

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