Salim Swaleh, press secretary of Musalia Mudavadi, arrested for alleged fraud

Mr. Salim Swaleh, Director of Press in the Office of First Cabinet and Foreign Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, was arrested on Saturday (June 22) over allegations of fraud.

Mr Mudavadi’s office confirmed the arrest on Sunday after suspected fraudsters were found in the Kenya Railways building with fake door switch nameplates.

In a statement dated June 23, 2024, Strategic Communications Secretary Peter Warutere said several suspected fraudsters and government officials were also arrested alongside Mr Swaleh.

“A cabal of fraudsters and government officials who facilitated their operations at the OPCS-MFDA (Office of the First Cabinet Secretary and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora) Kenya Railways building were arrested yesterday (Saturday June 22) Relevant law enforcement agencies continue to search for and arrest other conspirators who may have been involved,” read part of the statement signed by Mr. Warutere.

“The arrests were made following a tip-off which alerted OPCS-MFDA security, who then set up intense surveillance at the OPCS-MFDA railway office to disrupt the acts “Reports of identity theft and misuse of facilities by fraudsters.”

The arrests were made following a tip-off which alerted Mr. Mudavadi’s security, who then set up intensive surveillance at the railway office to disrupt the reported nefarious acts of identity theft and misuse of facilities by fraudsters.

The office added that further investigations by relevant law enforcement agencies are underway to identify and arrest additional conspirators who may have been involved.

“The surveillance involved tracking a group of people posing as visitors who individually entered the railway building on different dates and times,” the statement added.

According to Warutere, the suspected fraudsters posed as VIP guests or government officials, as well as the officials they claimed to be visiting.

“Their victims were mainly foreigners who were directed to the railway building to allegedly meet high-ranking government officials to obtain favors in exchange for bribes,” he said.

Mr. Mudavadi’s office also reported that when the officials were arrested, they tried to get away with bribes.

Bribe to get out

“After being smoked on Saturday in one of the OPCS-MFDA railway offices where the fraudsters were waiting for their victims, the group dared to try to get out of it through bribes,” indicates the communicated.

He said the arrested government officials had perfected the art of “renting” offices to criminals, either by vacating their offices for use by the fraudsters or by posing as false claims.

“This deception also included replacing legitimate nameplates on office doors with fake ones to facilitate fraud,” he added.

The OPCS-MFDA also appealed for any information that could reveal possible corrupt activities within the ministry.

The media personality, who has worked with several media outlets in the country, was appointed as the Director of Communications in the Office of the Cabinet Secretary in January 2023 and was responsible for communications in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Before joining the Mudavadi media team, he was the Director of ICT, e-Government and Public Communications for Nakuru County.

Swaleh’s responsibilities included establishing and leading a multi-channel communications strategy, preparing and managing all communications materials, developing a brand voice, and maintaining brand integrity across all platforms.

Other responsibilities included managing media relations and developing contacts with media and influencers.