Kenya Power customers who bought cheap tokens in the black market have suffered a major setback after the electricity distribution firm started recovering the tokens.

Kenya Power consumers from around the country have in the recent weeks been slapped with negative balances on their prepaid token-based billing gadget.

The victims are forced to first pay for the tokens they had already bought in the black market before the system can start recognizing new payments.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is also carrying out an independent probe to determine how tokens worth at least Sh300,000 were fraudulently stolen from Kenya Power.

It is suspected that staff at Kenya Power hacked the utility form’s systems and generated the irregular bundles and sold them through back channels.

In some cases, the irregular bundles were sold by Kenya Power Staff – raising questions as to why the company has chosen to punish some unsuspecting customers instead of pursuing its own people.

Third party sellers were also actively selling the tokens, especially on Facebook at throw-away prices.

A spot check by Pulse Live Kenya, revealed that 100 units were being sold for a mere Sh400 – an amount that would only fetch about 25 units for purchases made on the regular Kenya Power system.

Kenya Power Managing Director Jared Othieno said the recovery process had started in late June and would proceed until all the payments had been recovered from the affected accounts.