Scamsters held for defrauding tycoon by impersonating Kenyan President

February 26, 2019 | Brainwave Science

Scamsters held for defrauding tycoon by impersonating Kenyan President: Brainwave Science

SITUATION

The Kenyan police have busted a seven-man criminal gang which allegedly impersonated President Uhuru Kenyatta and other government officials. They then attempted to defraud local business tycoon Naushad Merali of a huge sum of money.

One of them called Mr Merali, who is the chairman of Sameer Africa, and mimicked the president’s voice and persuaded him to release money to facilitate business deals.

The exact amount is unclear. It could be 10 million shillings ($100,000; £76,000) or around 80 million shillings, according to different sources.

The seven are yet to be charged. They appeared in court on Tuesday. Police said they needed more time to carry out investigations. “Due to the complexity of the investigations and the number of suspects involved, including some who are still at large, it is expected that the investigation will involve going through voluminous documents including bank documents and call data records analysis.

Mr Merali is one of Kenya’s prominent industrialists. The Sameer Group’s website says he is also a member of the government’s Kenya Export Promotion Council and the National Investment Council.

CHALLENGE

Kenya and other African countries like Nigeria are notorious all over the world for being one of the largest sources of scams and frauds. Groups of fraudsters in African countries continue to make millions off of classic scams like Inheritance scams, Unexpected prize & lottery scams.

In August 2018, four suspects were arrested after presenting fake documents to a complainant whom they had promised to award a tender worth Sh65 Million.

This case of financial scam sheds light on the detailed planning and execution. These surely are others who have been duped by this crime syndicate. They might not be coming out in the open because of fears that they will be accused of bribery.

According to a March 2018 report by cyber intelligence company, Crowdstrike, titled ‘Nigerian Confraternities Emerge as Business Email Compromise Threat’ internet fraudsters are run by organized crime syndicates.

“Behind the fraudsters is an organized crime network with its hands in human trafficking, drugs, prostitution, money laundering, and cybercrime.”

The investigating agencies have admitted that the investigation and interrogation are lengthy and involve going through a large volume of bank details and call records. There are men who are still at large. As time is of the essence in any case, the police will be interested in detaining other suspects as soon as possible and being able to extract the maximum amount of information through interrogation. Unfortunately, this is not possible using conventional methods. Also, the use of torture in order to get confessions violates the human rights of the suspects. Sometimes, an innocent person is accused and sentenced to jail-time, whereas the perpetrator may roam scot-free and get emboldened by the false indictment. There is a need for a way to determine if an arrested suspect has awareness of specific crime-related information which only a planner or executor should know. If there were some sort of a ‘litmus test’ in forensics, then it would reduce subjectivity from investigation and interrogation. Crucial time and precious resources can be saved if the police can narrow down on a shorter list of likely suspects amongst the high number of people on its radar.

WHY ICOGNATIVE?

The 4 arrested persons must possess a great deal of information about financial scams. If they really are involved, then their brains must know about the modus operandi and other fraudsters in their group and beyond. Conventional interrogation will not be able to elicit the information which the investigators need. This is because, the investigators aim to not just prove the guilt of the persons who were arrested, but also to use the knowledge the suspects possess to infiltrate the larger criminal network. The suspects might be aware of information related to the hundreds of fraud emails, phone calls etc that they have sent and placed.

Such an enormous feat cannot be the handiwork of a few persons. There must be many more who are involved in causing such huge financial fraud. The traditional tools available to investigators, like DNA and fingerprints are not quite applicable in phone-scam, email scam, cyber-crime. These criminals can be based out in Kenya or anywhere on the globe and are extremely good at covering their identities and tracks.

Brainwave Science seems to have the answer to this seemingly unwinnable battle. The answer lies in a revolutionary technology called iCognative which can be used on suspects and witnesses. iCognative is a sophisticated software designed for investigative agencies which wish to move beyond traditional investigative methods. iCognative can help different types of crime-fighting agencies because it is customizable, It is not only applicable to Law Enforcement but also to disciplines such as National Security, Immigration Control, CounterTerrorism, Border Security and Human and Drug trafficking. The subject or suspect may lie, but their brains cannot lie.

iCognative test is impossible to deceive. The test can accurately determine whether the subject has ever been a witness to, planned or executed a specific crime. Evidence related to the crime which the law enforcement agencies have gathered is presented to the suspects undergoing the test, in the form of words, phrases or pictures. Their brain responses reveal if the subject has awareness of the stimuli. This can also indicate the degree of their involvement or their rank in a criminal network.

In this case, the seven arrested men can be made to go through a iCognative test. The stimuli can be the bank details related to this crime, the dates and times on which the phone calls were made, the locations from which these calls were made to the office of the businessman, the CCTV pictures of the vehicles which were used during collection of the money, etc.

The 45-minute long test involves no interaction between the administrator of the test and the subject. Thus, the test becomes immune to the subjective opinion of the test organizer. The test results are 99.9% accurate, and there are no false positives or false negatives.

Brainwave Science’s iCognative is a modern tool which can help defeat organizations behind widespread financial scams with pinpoint accuracy and within a certain time frame.  It must be used by Kenyan Police in order to augment the investigative process and to bring objectivity to the interrogative process.

Main Source: BBC

Image Source: The Star