A businessman has been charged with defrauding a senior Administrative Police (AP) officer of Sh24.3 million while pretending to sell him four items worth Sh128 million for Sh36 million.
Ray Ochieng Otieno is accused of obtaining Sh24,364,000 from Abdirahaman Ali Dima between December 17, 2021, and January 4, 2023, by pretending to be in a position to sell him a rupee, a stove, a beacon and an iron box, knowing the same to be false.
He is also accused of defrauding Mr Dima’s friend Ibrahim Isaack Musa of Sh7,136,000 in similar circumstances during the same period.
Mr Otieno is accused of conspiring with an accomplice charged in February and others at large to obtain the money from Mr Dima and Mr Musa totalling Sh31.5 million contrary to Section 313 of the Penal Code.
The two complainants were led to believe that they could make a profit of more than Sh128 million from the deal after selling the four items after buying them from Mr Otieno and his accomplices.
Mr Dima, a commissioner of police, was approached in December 2021 by a person he knew when he was in charge of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) in Central Region.
The person who is among the suspects at large claimed he was selling the Rupee, stove, Beacon and iron box for Sh36 million and told Mr Dima that the four items all allegedly from Germany could fetch him Sh128 million if sold to dealers.
Fraudsters have been duping their victims that supposed relics including a rupee, a beacon and some stoves containing prized minerals.
Venue of the meeting
Mr Dima agreed to meet the suspect in Mai Mahiu in Nakuru County but the suspect linked him with three individuals who were to accompany him to the venue of the meeting.
One of them was an alleged expert who was to confirm to Mr Dima that the items he was to purchase were original.
The three men are also among the suspects in the case who are still at large.
On arrival, Mr Dima was told that the rupee and beacon were worth Sh2 million and he paid Sh700,000 in cash as the three other men who accompanied him presented an envelope each purporting to be containing Sh500,000.
One of them took over the two items to store them in Karen in Nairobi as they waited for the alleged foreign dealer who was to purchase them.
They were to pay a storage fee of Sh3.1 million to the suspect who was to keep the items in Karen as they sought a lawyer who would facilitate the sale of the items to a dealer.
Mr Dima later received a call from one of the suspects who requested he meets them at a hotel on Thika Superhighway.
He met them in the company of Mr Otieno who was the ‘expert’ to confirm that the items were genuine and in high demand, together with a foreigner who was the purported dealer interested in buying the items.
Two of the suspects told Mr Dima that they had spoken to the alleged owner of the items in Mai Mahiu and he had asked for Sh3.7 million to release them.
Mr Dima raised the Sh3.7 million and they together proceeded to Mai Mahiu where they met the man identified as Masai.
They later told Mr Dima that Sh10 million was needed for the dealer to accept buying the items and Mr Dima involved his friend Mr Musa who brought in an additional Sh3 million.
The suspects allegedly continued obtaining different amounts of money from the two complainants until they (complainants) exhausted their cash in January this year having been jointly fleeced of Sh31. 5 million.
The suspected conmen stopped picking up calls from Mr Dima and his friend Mr Musa after realising they had run out of cash.
The two complainants reported the matter at Buruburu police station on January 8 and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) took over the investigations.
One of Mr Otieno’s accomplices Abdoul Said Homoud who is a foreigner was traced and arrested.
He was charged at the Makadara Law Courts on February 2 and was released on a bond of Sh15 million with two Kenyan sureties of a similar amount after he denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Mary Njagi.
Mr Otieno was traced and arrested in Buruburu on May 6. He denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia.
Detective Corporal Josphat Wafula made an application to oppose bail and bond terms for the suspect.
Between Nairobi and Kajiado
The detective said Mr Otieno has been shuttling between Nairobi and Kajiado counties evading arrest after he learnt that his accomplice had been arrested and charged.
Mr Wafula pleaded with Kyambia to remand Mr Otieno in custody until the case is heard and concluded.
But Mr Otieno opposed the application through his lawyer and sought lenient bail and bond terms.
He argued that he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the court should not be swayed by the colossal amounts of money mentioned in the charge sheets.
The lawyer also sought orders for the release of a car and two mobile phones confiscated from Mr Otieno by detectives who arrested him but Cpl. Wafula opposed the same saying they are proceeds of crime.
Mr Kyambia will rule on the bond application on May 18. The suspect will remain in custody.