COMPUTER FRAUD

Suspected online scam artist arrested at JKIA upon arrival

Suspect believed to have swindled Kenyans in a fraudulent scheme known as Amazon Web Worker.

In Summary

•Stacey Marie Parker Blake was arrested on Friday after she jetted into the country, from the U.S.

•Detectives who were on alert pounced on the 50-year-old suspect at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport minutes after she had disembarked from her flight.

Online fraud suspect arrested.
Online fraud suspect arrested.
Image: DCI

Police officers have arrested a suspect believed to have obtained millions of shillings from Kenyans in a fraudulent scheme known as Amazon Web Worker.

Stacey Marie Parker Blake was arrested on Friday after she jetted into the country, from the U.S.

Detectives who were on alert pounced on the 50-year-old suspect at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport minutes after she had disembarked from her flight.

In a statement via Twitter, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation said the suspect was nabbed following intensive investigations by serious crimes detectives, that linked her to the ponzi scheme that has allegedly milked the pockets of unsuspecting investors dry.

"In a well coordinated and orchestrated scheme, investors were duped into investing their money in an online app known as Amazon Web Worker, on the premise that they would earn huge profits of upto 38 per cent for a deposit lasting only 7 days," the DCI revealed.

According to the Directorate, many Kenyans were swayed by the many advertisements wooing them to the mouthwatering scheme, that promised to double one’s deposits in a month.

"In one such advertisement, investors who deposited Sh100,000 were promised Sh351,000 after 30 days! All one needed for his/her application to be successful was to register their personal details such as full names, M-Pesa account details and mobile phone numbers in the online app," the DCI said.

Unsuspecting Kenyans downloaded the app in their hundreds, registered and made their deposits.

Some going to the extend of referring their spouses, children and close friends to the scheme, in a bid to make a fortune overnight.

"It is not until when the app was deleted from the internet without prior notice, that the investors discovered they had been duped. They were shocked to learn that the app was not in any way linked to Amazon, a multinational technology company based in the United States," the DCI said.

"The app went down with deposits worth hundreds of millions of shillings from gullible investors, who had hoped to hit the jackpot, once their deposits earned profits."

The DCI sleuths managed to link the suspect to the syndicate after investigations revealed that she had pay-bill accounts in her name, that had a balance of Sh50 Million, believed to be deposits made by the unsuspecting victims.

This comes a time when online fraud activities have raised concern among Kenyans and organizations.

Last August, the Central Bank of Kenya warned that global online networking companies, pyramid schemes and forex traders would take advantage of Covid-19 economic difficulties to exploit Kenyans. Seems the warning was lost on many.