Very simple fraud, says lawyer Eric Ng’eno, who explains how this dirty business is done. A fraudster tells you he has ‘special paper’ for printing currency obtained from De La Rue (the company contracted to make currency for Kenya), with security features and watermarks already emplaced. But the fraudster claims the paper is still coated with a series of metals and requires a special liquid chemical to WASH it, or develop the raw paper into recognisable bills.
That’s where you come in. But the chemical is damn expensive. If you put up the quoted figure, you’re promised a huge portion of the cleaned money, always in an order of magnitude. As security and sign of good faith, the entire money-printing or developing apparatus is pledged to your possession as the conmen, in receipt of unbelievable sums, travel to procure the “special liquid”.
As you get curious, then impatient, you’re plied with more excuses and demands for more money due to new circumstances of significant urgency.
Ultimately, you’re ghosted or abused. That’s when you turn up at the police station, and you’re turned in, because the Penal Code makes it a felony: to make currency; to make items purported to be currency; and to be in possession of equipment intended or purported to be used in making currency.
The police often work in cahoots with the WASH-WASH fellows. Because you have all the incriminating nonsense (usually a small box and chalk dust and grease paper), you will stage the fight of your life. And pay more money.
Then they meet in the evening and have a laugh over drinks at nice lounges. And you’re too ashamed and humiliated to do or say anything about it.
WASH WASH guys are very tight with cops. Extremely. They are also licensed gun holders. WASH WASH is a police hobby with their favourite criminals.
WASH 1 – The purported cleaning of special paper
WASH 2 – Poor gullible Kenyan being cleaned of their money.