Officials of the Kenyan communications regulator CCK last week busted a multimillion-shilling international telephone scam operation at the prestigious Lonrho House in Nairobi. Officials from the Communications Commission of Kenya after the afternoon raid displayed sophisticated telecommunications equipment, including satellite links.

They said the firm is officially registered as a tax services and accountancy consultant. CCK director of licensing, compliance and standards Francis Wangusi blamed Telkom Kenya for allocating 80 fixed lines to a firm not licensed by the regulator. Four Safaricom and KenCell lines were also being used.

"There is a mini-Telkom Kenya around here. This is the second international gateway," said Mr Wangusi, who was accompanied by armed police and CCK technicians. The firm’s subscribers’ have their calls from local lines routed to its illegal platform where they are converted into data then into radio frequencies via satellite.

The clients access the international service by calling the lines where a receiver promptly asks for the allocated identification codes, and then triggers the system. The fixed line monopoly is reported to be losing in excess of Sh140 million annually through international calls by-passing the system.

Daily Nation