Detectives attached to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) have arrested four suspects responsible for high level examination fraud, following intelligence reports regarding sale of examination papers to candidates sitting the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations (KCSE).
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched investigations one week ago and have so far arrested four who are college students.
The main suspect Gideon Kibet Tanui alias Evans Kipruto, an Information Technology student at Baringo Technical College, was picked from his college on March 15, while he was busy administering English paper 2 and Chemistry paper 1, to students of Silibwet and Sitoito secondary schools in Molo, via his whatsapp group with a following of 70 members.
The suspect — who was allegedly selling the papers at Sh500 each — is also a member of two fraudulent Telegram groups with over 17,000 followers.
The DCI said the suspect’s M-Pesa account had over Sh10,000 at the time of his arrest. He was also operating a KCB account at Kabarnet branch, where he would transfer cash from his M-Pesa to avoid reversals.
“To conceal his identity, the SIM card he was using was registered using the identification details of one Evans Kiprono,” he added.
The arrest led detectives to another suspect, Kevin Kiprotich Langat, a Bachelor of Arts student at Rongo University, who was nabbed on Thursday.
Langat was in constant communication with the first suspect and had forwarded the English exam to him, according to DCI.
“It is at Rongo University that a wider syndicate of the exam fraudsters exist, in a Telegram group dubbed ‘Kale Group’ created under the name ‘Bailing Out’, among other groups,” the DCI said.
Langat led detectives to yet another suspect, a first-year political science student identified as Justice Leting, who was distributing the Kiswahili paper and preparing answers for the Chemistry practical paper.
Shockingly, Leting’s mobile phone had the entire KCSE exam material.
He said he was working with other students at the institution, who are being pursued by DCI.
“Using cyber and digital forensics, detectives have intercepted tens of messages containing screenshots of the papers being examined, including handwritten answers. These will be subjected to forensic examination at the DCI National Forensic Laboratory to ascertain the authors,” DCI observed.
All the confiscated phones from across the country are this morning expected to be handed over to the CCU and the forensics unit at the DCI as the probe starts.
And though Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has put on a brave face, downplaying the issue, police sources intimated that the “situation is alarming” and could threaten the credibility of the tests.
Detectives believe there is a conspiracy between some officials at Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) and teachers, particularly principals.
How some candidates sneaked into examination rooms with mobile phones is yet another puzzle to be resolved.
For instance, detectives in Nairobi’s Kayole area were on Friday morning shocked when they confiscated 50 phones from students sitting the Chemistry practical paper.
Shockingly, a true copy of the paper had already been downloaded on 14 of these phones.
Relentless efforts by detectives have also unearthed that the syndicate also operates a till number account at Ecobank, where candidates are being asked to deposit Sh5,000 per paper, or a discounted rate of Sh20,000 for the whole examination.
Detectives have already zeroed in on the masterminds of this high-level fraud, believed to be hiding in Nandi hills.
Meanwhile, cyber & digital forensics experts are analysing all the subscribers in the Whatsapp & Telegrams groups involved in the Examination malpractice for legal action, as documents examination & handwritings sleuths complement their efforts.