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Storm as Safaricom ordered to suspend SportPesa, Betin pay bills

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Gambling regulator has ordered Safaricom to suspend M-Pesa pay bills and SMS short codes for 27 betting firms including SportPesa and Betin because the operating licence for the year starting July 1 were not renewed.

Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) say the 27 firms are yet to meet undisclosed licensing requirements and are being vetted to establish if they are fit to hold gambling permits.

The order comes weeks after the State said it had refused to renew operating permits for 19 gambling firms and deferred eight others in a shake-up of an industry that generates more than Sh200 billion in annual sales.

Safaricom says the orders, which will affect 12 million betting accounts, has left it at a crossroads because some of the accounts have money and some firms like SportPesa and Betin have secured orders to continue operating.

CLEAN BILL

The board said the renewal of the licences is dependent on operations and directors of the firms getting a clean bill of health in an ongoing security vetting process.

The switch-off will disable the betting firms given that the bulk of gambling takes place online and through phone and services like M-Pesa allow users to place bets, pay off losses and get winnings on their phone

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

“Consequently, we request you to suspend pay bills and short codes until otherwise advised,” said the BCLB to Safaricom in a July 10 letter.

Safaricom reckon that it will be in breach of the law to disable operations of firms like SportPesa and Betin given they have court orders allowing them to continue operating.

The High Court suspended the decision by BCLB to withdraw Betin Kenya’s licence.

Source:Nairobinews

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Global teacher Tabichi meets Trump ahead of UN address

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The 2019 Global Teacher Prize winner, Kenya’s Peter Tabichi, on Monday met with US President Donald Trump ahead of his special address at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Describing teacher Tabichi as an inspiration to Americans for his hard work and commitment to his students, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted images of the 37-year-old science teacher’s meeting with Mr Trump, but did not give details of what was discussed during the meeting.

“His dedication, hard work and belief in his students’ talent has led his poorly resourced school in Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions,” Ms Grisham posted on Twitter.

Mr Tabichi, a staunch Catholic and member of the Franciscan Friars, a religious order founded by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, amazed the world with his commitment to nurturing the academic abilities of his students, majority of whom come from poor backgrounds.

Following his win, Mr Tabichi, who has travelled the world inspiring many, was appointed as the champion for children in conflicts and crisis by Varky Foundation, a London-based global charitable organisation that is focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children.

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

The foundation is banking on the inspiring story of the Math and Physics teacher at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Nakuru County to highlight on a global scale the urgent need to invest in the future of children in crisis.

United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) notes that children have become frontline targets in times of war and conflict with statistics showing that every one in four children live in countries affected by conflict or disaster.

On Sunday, Unicef displayed 3,758 school backpacks as headstones outside the UN General Assembly headquarters to highlight the magnitude of child deaths that occurred during conflicts in the last one year and called for the protection of children in conflict.

“In just two weeks, world leaders gathering at the 74th UN General Assembly will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This installation should remind them of the stakes,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore on Sunday.

In Kenya, cases of children dying during conflict have been on the rise with this month’s shooting of two-year-old Duncan Githinji being the latest.

In his address at the UN meeting, Mr Tabichi is expected to give remarks on how he made it to the top of the teaching profession and probably explain how he manages to inspire great performance amongst children who live in a region where drought and famine are frequent.

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

As usual, Kenyans took to social media to congratulate him and share excitement over his meeting with Mr Trump.

“I am happy for mwalimu Peter Tabichi. He keeps on rising and brushing shoulders with the big boys. Once again congratulations,” tweeted Muhammad Onyango.

“President Trump met with Peter Tabichi, the 2019 Global Teacher Prize Winner. No matter where we come from, our dreams are still valid. Proudly Kenyan,” tweeted Wences Rono.

By nation.co.ke

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Kenyans among 300 people arrested over international online scams

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A global operation targeting online scams has led to nearly 300 arrests in 12 countries including Kenya.

According to Voice of America, the suspects include 167 from Nigeria, 74 in the United States, 18 in Turkey and 15 in Ghana.

Other arrests were in Turkey, Ghana, France, Italy, Japan, Malaysia and Britain.

A statement from the U.S Justice Department (DOJ) said: “Foreign citizens perpetrate many BEC scams.  Those individuals are often members of transnational criminal organizations, which originated in Nigeria but have spread throughout the world,” the statement reads.

The four month operation was led by the DOJ and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

During the operation, $3.7 million (Ksh.384million) was recovered, the U.S Justice Department (DOJ) said.

Christopher Wray, the FBI director warned: ”We’re sending a clear message to the criminals who orchestrate these BEC schemes.”

The DOJ listed some of the scams that the fraudsters used to con their victims:

  • Romance scams
  • Employment opportunities scams,
  • Fraudulent online vehicle sales scams
  • Rental scams
  • Lottery scams

Among those arrested in Nigeria were 77 Nigerian suspects recently indicted in the United States on conspiracy charges of swindling businesses and individuals through a variety of internet scams, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said.

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

The Nigerians allegedly used so-called Business Email Compromise schemes, “romance fraud” and schemes targeting the elderly to steal millions of dollars from their victims in the United States and elsewhere before transferring the funds to Nigeria through an extensive money laundering network, according to a 252-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed last month.

Others arrested during the recent operation face similar charges.

In the southern U.S. state of Georgia, two Nigerian nationals were arrested in connection with fraudulently directing a transfer of $3.5 million from a health care provider to accounts across the United States. In Miami, two others were charged with laundering more than $950,000 of proceeds of BEC scams and recruiting about 18 others to serve as “money mules.”

Widely used by Nigerian fraudsters, Business Email Compromise schemes involve targeting employees with access to company finances and tricking them into making unauthorized wire transfers into accounts controlled by swindlers.

$26 billion online scam

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, Business Email Compromise is a $26 billion online scam. Last year, BEC and its variant, Email Account Compromise, resulted in losses of nearly $1.3 billion, nearly twice as much as 2017.

Operation reWired was part of the Justice Department’s intensified efforts in recent years to crack down on internet financial fraud. Among other measures, the department has set up an internal BEC Counteraction Group to coordinate cases.

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

Through the arrests, “we’re sending a clear message to the criminals who orchestrate these BEC schemes: We’ll keep coming after you, no matter where you are,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “And to the public, we’ll keep doing whatever we can to protect you.”

U.S. and Nigerian officials credited the mass arrests to close cooperation and coordination between their law enforcement agencies.

“Our efforts in coordinating the EFCC/FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes” against “the infamous yahoo-yahoo boys,” said the EFCC’s director of information, Mohammed Abba, according to AFP.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the Justice Department has “increased efforts” to combat cyber-enabled financial crimes.

“The coordinated efforts with our domestic and international law enforcement partners around the world has made these most recent actions more successful,” Rosen said.

U.S. officials didn’t say whether they have asked Nigerian authorities to extradite the suspects wanted in multiple U.S. jurisdictions from California to Florida.

Hassan Mohammed Hassan, Nigeria’s deputy ambassador to the U.S., told VOA last month that Nigeria will consider any extradition request based on a “verifiable” case.

Last year, a law enforcement operation aimed at BEC scams resulted in the arrest of 74 people and the seizure of $2.4 million, according to the Justice Department.

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

-AGENCIES

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Wife of ex-Naivas chairman dies three weeks after burial of her husband

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Monicah Wanjiru, wife of the late Naivas chairman Simon Mukuha, has succumbed to cancer at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, aged 58.

Wanjiru’s death comes barely three weeks after burial of her husband at Lang’ata Cemetery in Nairobi on August 29.

Sources on Tuesday told the Nation that Wanjiru has had a long-drawn battle with cancer, a fight that saw Mukuha take her to India for medication.

However, the cancer was found to be at an advanced stage and the doctors advised that she be put under palliative care back home.

She was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Aga Khan two weeks ago after he condition worsened, according to Naivas Managing Director David Kimani.

Mr Kimani said Wanjiru will be laid to rest on Thursday at Lang’ata, next to her husband’s grave.

BY Nation

READ ALSO:   Kenya to deport foreigners in betting
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