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Forget WASH WASH: Two Other Billion-Shilling Scams Trending In Kenya

Inside the often irresistible art of brain-washing wealth hunters with money

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Flashy cars, latest designer clothes, Rolex watches, they hang out in some of the most expensive clubs drinking expensive wines and Whiskeys. They are always surrounded by beautiful women of course. Where there is money you will always find beautiful ladies but what do they do for a living? WASH WASH!

What exactly is Wash-Wash? Most people have this notion that Wash Wash is dealing with fake money. Well, that is just a tip of the iceberg, there are many definitions of wash-wash but you only need to know this to understand what it really is: Wash-Wash is Brain Washing.

Brain-washing is always the first step, the first formula that one needs to learn to apply to succeed in applying Wash Wash is to make people believe that you have money: dress nicely and don’t be afraid to spend the little that you have for something bigger.

Wash wash guys even go to the extent of hiring expensive cars from car bazaars just to look the part. Brain-washing is always the key to wash wash.

  1. The Fake Money Scam

This form is the most common type of wash wash and it usually targets university students and young youths who are eager and hungry for huge amounts of money; hundreds of thousands or even millions.

You meet up with an old age mate from a previous life; the guy looks like he is living the life dressing well and he is even driving while you are a first year or second year student struggling with college life so you ask the guy what his secret to success is.

“You have to be shrewd,” he will say, “I wash money, brother.” So you are curious and you ask him how you can get into business and he tells you that you need materials for that kind of business and those materials require money. Curiosity gets the better of you as he explains further.

First of all, you need money materials: Chemical for a ‘hundred thousand’ worth of material could cost you Ksh10,000, for Ksh200,000 material you will need Khs20,000 and so on. At this point you are attentively listening and picturing how you can get rich quickly.

He then tells you that he will introduce you to the material supplier then and chemical guy all you just need to do is get the money for the material to be ready. He leaves you overjoyed and you begin to hustle up and down for the money.

You are able to raise Ksh10,000 so you call him and tell him what you have raised and your friend introduces you to another flashy friend who gives you Ksh100,000 notes in form of materials.

The Ksh100,000 looks like this

Wash Wash business in Kenya
First they mix the chemical with water then deep the material inside then dry it.

Now they tell you that those black notes are materials that require chemicals to change into real money and now you need like Ksh15,000 to buy the chemical. At this point they are talking of buying the chemical from some Indian guy. You become so interested but since you don’t have Ksh15,000 you either sell that laptop that your parents struggled so hard to buy for your studies or you involve a friend who can raise that kind of money.

You hustle up and down and eventually raise Ksh15,000 and bring it to your friend who then decides to introduce some other guy who deals with the Indian who sells the chemicals. The guy brings you the chemicals and now you are finally on your way to be Ksh100,000 richer.

They then take you to a room probably somewhere where you feel safe and show you the trick of changing fake money (the black notes) to ‘real currency’ using the chemicals. First they mix the chemical with water then deep the material inside then dry it.

It’s usually a scenario that looks like this

Wash Wash Business in Kenya
At this point you are willing to go to any length.

But the cash that is produced is weak and easily tears off. So they then mix again and place an original Ksh1,000 note in the middle of two fake notes then wrap it and apply pressure on it for about five minutes then the chemical guy tells you that the material is too strong for the chemical and the chemical won’t be able to produce an original money. They will say that’s why the first material was weak and you need original money like about Ksh50,000 to strengthen the material and the chemical.

At this point they unwrap the tissue and wash it off with the chemical water and there you have two thousand shillings plus the original one making it three thousand the black notes have turned into “original”. At this point you are willing to go to any length.

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Meanwhile, you have to look for Ksh50,000 to strengthen the fake Ksh97,000 that is in your possession so as to make it legit. This is where most students or youths decide to do whatever it takes: fees is the option here . You decide to take your whole semester fee or HELB loan to the Wash Wash guy. They will then repeat the same process.

One funny thing they will request you to buy basic things like Vitamin C, a foil paper, rubber bands just to fool you. They then remove the fake material, take your original Ksh50,000, place a thousand in the middle of each two thousand fake material notes in the name of strengthening the fake then crush the vitamin C and sprinkle it on the bundle of money and wrap it up with a foil paper and tell you to apply pressure on it for about 8 or 9 hours.

You will obey and do as asked but what you won’t know is they have switched the bundles of foil paper and have stolen your original Ksh50,000. You remain a fool applying pressure on a bunch of papers while fantasizing on being rich.

After 10 hours, you open your bundle only to be met with black papers: no money! You desperately call your guy he asks you some stupid questions like “did you expose it to heat? Are you sure you applied the exact pressure?

Little do you know that it’s all a set-up by your friend working with corrupt officers.

He then asks that you two meet up with the product. You meet him up at a secluded place where he comes alone and tells you that you must have done something wrong and the Ksh50,000 has dissolved with the fake money, and you therefore need another chemical to revive it.

You are now very doubtful but your friend convinces you that it is possible so you ask how much it will take he tells you Ksh50,000 but he himself will sort you out Ksh25,000, so you just have to look for Ksh25,000 and he also assures you that the revival process will recover the Ksh97,000 too.

Now you are back looking for Ksh25,000 after weeks of hustling you finally get it; you have sold almost everything you are in debts but your hopes are with the fruit you will reap. You have hustled so hard now you bring the cash back to your friend he then buys the chemical and starts conducting the process but while you are in the process police officers raid your hideout they arrest you and your friend.

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You are so shaken up and you are taken to the station and charged with possession of counterfeit money. They ask you to produce a bribe of Ksh200,000 at this point you have no option but to involve your family members a very shameful ordeal.

Little do you know that it’s all a set-up by your friend working with corrupt officers. My friend that is one form of wash-wash.

  1. The Tender Scam “Wash Wash”

This one is carried out mostly by politicians and their proxies. A notice of Tender/Advertisement is placed in local newspapers and you as an aspiring tenderpreneur quickly gets wind of it.

You apply by emailing all the necessary documents, certificate of incorporation, prequalification documents and KRA PINs. After a few weeks you get a call and you are told to visit one of the government offices where you are introduced to person A and B.

The persons ask for your bank statement and after a few chit-chats they ask for a bribe in form of a gift so as to award you the tender. Knowing too well that you are going to benefit heavily from the deal you decide to bribe the “officials”.

It often leads to depr’ession and at times even suici’de but the perpetrators always walk free flaunting.

After a few days or even a week you are given an award letter and an LPO of the things you are to deliver to the government: now the ball is in your court you start the hustle of looking of a way to fulfill your end.

Most government tenders run even up to billions of shillings and you take loans but eventually do order for the equipment. Little do you know that the said officials have been keeping tabs on you and when you are ready to deliver they suggest that they will come and pick it up themselves.

You have the feeling that they have even saved you the cost of transportation. The guys turn up at your place with government vehicles complete with government stamps, seals and documents. They are even at times escorted by police officers you then present to them your invoice/delivery receipt and they sign it then they are gone and tell you to expect payment in two weeks.

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After two weeks you are told to follow up after two weeks since ‘there has been delayed payment from Treasury.’ This game will continue until you decide to visit the office only to find out that no such people exist and no such kind of tender was ever issued all the equipment that you supplied have vanished into thin air plus the bribe that you gave out.

You quickly involve the DCI but this is Kenya – justice is rare and if they are caught the cases will drag in court for eternity. Many Kenyans have fallen prey to this scam. It often leads to depréssion and at times even sūicide but the perpetrators always walk free flaunting.

  1. The Gold Wash Wash Scam

This is perhaps the most dangerous of it all. Presidents and Kings have fallen victims to this type of “Wash Wash”. The players involved are untouchable, the money involved is over Ksh500 million and the people being targeted are mostly foreigners.

These guys sell imaginary gold: they mostly target Arabs and Russians who are in possession of dirty money which they want to clean and launder by buying expensive accessories. It’s a syndicate involving prominent politicians, immigration officials, police officers and flamboyant businessmen and bank officials.

Now the first thing the client will ask is to see proof of the gold. Don’t worry that is sorted they already have a guy at the asset depository section who will provide all the necessary documents to show the existence of the gold.

Then the guy will be lured into the country to see the physical Gold. They will pick him up in posh cars hired probably from car bazaars and drive him to a very luxurious hotel just to make the client feel safe; flashy lifestyle is everything remember.

The client will begin getting suspicious since so far he has paid over Ksh300 million and they are still demanding.

The following day they will take him to the bank where he will see the documentation and the actual gold in the safe, he will then call a professional of his own choosing to verify the authenticity of the gold.

The client will be satisfied and make a 50% deposit of the total amount of maybe Ksh500 million then he will travel back to his home country and await for the shipment. The client will then be told that the shipment has faced some setback and requires about Ksh80 million to bribe airport authorities and facilitate a private charter to be used to transport the merchandise. Out of desperation, the client will do so and after a week another game will start of the gold being confiscated by the police another payment will be requested of about Ksh20 million.

Shock On You

The client will begin getting suspicious since so far he has paid over Ksh300 million and they are still demanding. This is the part that politician comes in: he will travel to the client’s country meet up with him convince him to pay the remaining Ksh200 million and in less than a week he will receive the merchandise which definitely won’t happen. The client on realizing he has been conned will jet into the country and file an official complaint with the authorities: you know this will mean he will have to bribe them for swift justice.

The contact guy will be arrested and arraigned in court and a hearing date will be set in 4-5 months. The client being a foreigner will travel back to his home hoping to return after four months. By this time the contact guy will be released on a bail of not more than Ksh500,000.

After four months the client returns and this time what meets him is the shock of his life. The court session will be at around 11AM. The guy will be held at the immigration offices for improper documentation and taken in rounds until 6PM. He will fail to appear in court and that’s how the case will end: ‘plaintiff not present’ and he will be said to be wasting courts time.

Editor’s Note: This article was written and first published on Twitter by 99OGs


Next Read…

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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