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Salim Swaleh arrested over fraud in Mudavadi's office

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The arrest on Saturday, June 22, 2024, followed a tipoff that led to intense surveillance and a subsequent sting operation at CS Musalia Mudavadi’s office at the Kenya Railways building in Nairobi.

Salim Swaleh, the press service director in the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary and the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, has been arrested for allegedly aiding a group of fraudsters in conning foreigners.

The arrest on Saturday, June 22, 2024, followed a tipoff that led to intense surveillance and a subsequent sting operation at CS Musalia Mudavadi’s office at the Kenya Railways building in Nairobi.

The office issued a detailed statement on the matter on Sunday, emphasising its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy on corruption, particularly among its officers.

“The Government of Kenya has often reiterated its commitment to zero tolerance for corruption, especially among its officers and that whenever such treacherous acts are identified, action should be swift, thorough, and final."

The operation exposed a sophisticated scheme where fraudsters, with the assistance of government officers, gained entry into the Railways building by falsifying their identities as VIP guests or government officials.

Their primary victims were foreigners lured to the building under the guise of meeting high-ranking government officers in exchange for bribes.

The investigation revealed that Salim was among the government officers arrested. His office was found to be the hub of the fraudulent activities, equipped with fake door switch nametags issued to facilitate the scam.

"The surveillance involved tracking a group masquerading as visitors. They individually gained entrance into the Railways building on different dates and times by falsifying their identities (as VIP guests or government officers) and the officers they purported to be visiting," the statement explained.

It detailed how the fraudsters operated, stating, "Their victims were mainly foreigners who would be shepherded into the Railways building ostensibly to meet high-ranking government officers for favours in exchange for bribes."

The fraudsters' audacity was highlighted when they attempted to bribe their way out upon being caught.

Following the incident, the government has asked institutions to remain vigilant and weed out corrupt elements within their ranks.

“As a deterrent, government institutions are hereby cautioned to vet and oust disreputable government officers abetting such criminal activity, which appears pervasive due to the lax security of government institutions and a growing appetite for quick money by public officers," the statement concluded.

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