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Students Scammed Sh156m in fake Universities Placements Abroad

Students Scammed Sh156m in fake Universities Placements Abroad

At least 1,000 students planned to fly abroad this month to study at some of the world’s most famous institutions under an international student placement program.

A Nairobi-based college guaranteed them placements at universities and colleges of their choice worldwide.

Parents paid Kenya Network Markets, which administered the college, as much as Sh350,000. They were proud and hopeful for their children’s academic and career success.

Those who had problems raising money were given loans and fundraising letters. Over five months, 1,000 parents signed up.

They didn’t realize they’d fallen for a scam scheme run from a drab office in Nairobi’s Eastlands.

The trip date has passed, and the suspect has vanished.

Sunday Nation reports that Sh180 million from unsuspecting parents and children may have been wasted in the suspected con operation.

The institution that helped place students abroad has also closed.

This is the story of Kenema College of Professional Studies and a fleeing owner whom Nairobi detectives have neglected to question despite reports by alleged victims.

Javan Ochieng runs Kenya Network Markets (Kenema), the college’s parent corporation.

On May 24, 2021, a local radio station featured Javan Ochieng’s on a morning show.

He used his one-hour airtime to promote schooling abroad. His charm won many over.

He stated his college had international ties to enable students to study overseas.

Ms. Christina Kibet, an alleged victim, informed Sunday Nation that he made a persuasive offer on a respectable radio station.

At the time, Mr. Ochieng had a college on Nairobi’s Outering Road that offered short business and technical courses for years.

A mainstream and social media campaign enhanced student and parent engagement after the radio interview.

The owner targeted low-scoring high school pupils. He pledged to fast-track applications.

Two weeks following the media interview, an office was set up to manage the “foreign student placement program’ Later, parents and students would attend college orientation.

Parents were told they could fill out application papers and leave the processing to the institution, which claimed to have global partnerships.

In October 2021, teaching employees raised concerns regarding the management of the international studies program after discovering no documentation was being processed.

An insurer at the school said parents’ application applications were tossed and abandoned.

By then, the school had reportedly received Sh156 million in registration fees.

Lack of progress worried parents. Then, some parents collected travel paperwork, including visas.

Students Scammed Sh156m in fake Universities Placements Abroad
The building along Outering Road, where Kenema College of Professional Studies was previously housed. Picture by Nicholas Komu | Nation Media Group

Mr. Onsombi said the so-called visas were dubious because none of the students had been interviewed at the embassies.

Sunday Nation received Microsoft Word fakes. Mr. Ochieng’ stopped reporting to work and paying staff and school fees in November.

Teachers and students stopped coming. “After months without rent, the owner evicted us,” stated one insider.

Without warning, Kenema College of Professional Studies was closed.

Investigations found that the alleged scheme masterminds continued to recruit and steal from unsuspecting students and parents in Buruburu.

The institution carried its questionable program to a church in Kasarani in April when 175 parents signed up.

The institute got Sh18 million from parents. The owner fled and closed the Buruburu office, leaving his workers to face furious parents, some of whom reported him to the police between June 6 and June 17.

Inquiries to Buruburu station on the probe’s progress were unanswered.

Kamukunji’s Sub-County Police Commander, Daniel Mburuka didn’t immediately react to our questions.

The building presently houses another private college.

Students Scammed Sh156m in fake Universities Placements Abroad
Students Scammed Sh156m in fake Universities Placements Abroad

Students Scammed Sh156m in fake Universities Placements Abroad

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