Wash wash business is a very lucrative venture in Kenya. It’s common in area like Kilimani Nairobi, Mombasa,Kisumu,Eldoret and Nakuru.Wash simply means kuoshwa and it’s a way someone loses huge amount of money to unsuspecting cons.
There are different types of wash wash businesses in Kenya, they include:
- Fake money
- Fake gold
- Fake tender
- Fake jobs
- Fake money
Fake money is commonly done by people who want to become rich quickly.Wash wash guys know that everyone wants to become a millionaire overnight, especially the youth—which is why they deal with fake money. I remember there was a time I was conned Ksh 20,000 by someone who promised to multiply the cash to Ksh1 million. That time I was living in Nairobi and a friend of mine connected me to a guy in Kilimani.One evening we agreed to meet. In a room, we were three of us, the one to multiply the cash, me and the one who connected me to him. After the meeting, he gave us a delicious meal and Ksh2,000 for transport back home—he didn’t ask for any money.
It was until the following morning when he said he has obtained the machine and he urgently needed Ksh 20,000 in order to multiply it to Ksh1 million. He said each Ksh1,000 note produced Ksh 50 notes. He added that he needed the money in cash. I went to my bank and withdraw, then handed the cash to my friend.
The guy promised to give me the Ksh1 million in two days.
After those two days were over, I called to inquire about the million only to be shocked that he had blocked my number. My friend had also disappeared into thin air.
These wash wash people have machines which print fake money. What they do is that if they discover that you can’t tract them, they disappear, but if they know that you can trace them, they mix a few of the genuine notes you gave them with fake ones. They would demand something like Ksh 1 million, keep Ksh 700,000 and mix the rest with fake notes. When you come to collect the notes, you’ll think that they are all genuine.
The wash wash guys are highly connected, most of them work with politicians and some security officers.
- Fake gold
I also came face to face with fake gold wash wash business. Someone from my village was driving big cars. A manager at our local factory asked him to reveal the secret behind his success. The guy said he runs successful gold business. Now, the manager was curious to know which kind of business this guy engages in.In the process, he revealed that he deals with pure gold from Congo and he has links with big people in government. The manager wanted to know how he can start the business.
This guy brought gold which was in a certain box and showed him. He then went ahead to tell the manager that the gold costs Ksh2.5 million but he can sell it at Ksh 40 million. The guy was very convincing, he said since he deals with this business and that the manager is a friend, he can help him join the business and say goodbye to poverty. He told the manager to pay Ksh 2.5 million and keep the gold for one month .He assured him that he would link him with a buyer.
The manager took a loan and paid for the gold. The wash wash guy disappeared from the village.
Later we discovered it was not pure gold but padlocks which had been crashed into small pieces.
The manager developed pressure and later died.
Similar cases happen in Nairobi’s Kilimani Estate and other estates within Nairobi where innocent people have lost millions of cash.
- Fake tender
You get a notice of a tender in a newspaper and apply. The notice is mostly placed by politicians and their proxies. When you qualify, they tell you to deposit some amount of money, nonrefundable to their bank account. That is the last time you’ll hear from them.
Others will go ahead and inform you that you’ve qualified to supply them with products and services. You go to a bank, take a loan and start work. After completing the work, they refuse to pay. Even before starting the work, some demand bribes in order to make their bosses happy so as to award you with the tender.
Fake jobs wash wash business is also very common among jobless graduates. From 2008 to 2011 I lost over ksh20,000 to these scams.One of them was a job which had been advertised in a blog.I applied.After two hours,I got an email that I had been shortlisted for an interviews. But they told me interview is done online as an aptitude test.But they gave me a list of three companies to buy a test from.One of them cost Ksh 12,000, another one Ksh 10,000 and the last one Ksh8,000.I chose the one for Ksh8,000 and paid the money through a paybill number. After submitting, I was again told to do another test,I paid Ksh 8,000 again.I passed the test and was told to wait for one week for a feedback—I am waiting until today.
In another case, which is also common. I was told to pay Ksh 1,200 for medical before attending an interviews. The guys told me to go to a certain building in Westlands for an Interview. When I went there, I was chocked the building was occupied by a gym.
On this earth,there is nothing comes easy and when the deal is good think twice.