Credit Kahawatungu

A Taxi driver operating in Moyale, Marsabit County, had a rough time at the hands of the police on Tuesday after he was found in possession of fake new currency notes.

According to reports, Boniface Kamau had gone to a local Mpesa shop to deposit some money when he was told that some of the money he had was fake.

The incident almost degenerated to a police case.

In his defence, Kamau said he had gotten the money, Ksh3000, from a client he had taken to Neighbouring Ethiopia country.

“They (passengers) alighted from a Nairobi bus and said they wanted to cross over to Ethiopia. I took them, waited for them as they shopped and dropped them back at a Mandera-bound bus after which they handed me Sh3,000 as we had agreed,” Kamau narrated.

Unknown to him, part of the money was fake, the taxi driver said.

He argued that it was his first time to handle the new currency notes launched on June 1, by Central Bank (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge during the Mashujaa fete in Narok County.

CBK had also announced that the old Ksh1000 banknotes will become obsolete on October 1.

“When the M-Pesa agent told me the notes are fake, I went to a bank and it’s then that I was told only Sh1,000 was genuine. They wanted to arrest me but I was lucky because I knew the police officers at the bank. I just explained to them and they understood me,” he said.

Residents who talked to the press after the incident said most businesses operating in the border of Kenya and Ethiopia have stopped taking the new currency notes for fear of being duped.

The incident comes at a time CBK is struggling to educate the public on the new banknote features.

Neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda countries are among countries that have stopped the use of Ksh1000 notes in an effort to curb its banks from being used to launder stolen money.