They operate primarily in Kilimani, Nairobi, and have recently moved to opulent areas of the city such as Karen and Kileleshwa. Their offices are flashy, well-appointed with real or fake gold-plated chairs and tables, and they drive around in the latest high-end vehicles. They’ll fly them to Kampala in Uganda or even Dubai in the United Arab Emirates just to prove that yours is a real deal.
Welcome to Nairobi, the city of gold scammers, a city in of the millions of dollars that have been lost to bling-bling-wearing scammers who have tentacles and partners across Africa – from Kampala to Lagos, Kinshasa to Niamey.
Their victims are mostly foreigners who, after being recognized have been betrayed, cases dragging on in Kenya are going to court.
The suspects lead their victims to believe they are high-ranking government officials or are working with them to secure faster delivery of gold shipments .
In the numerous cases in Nairobi courts, plaintiffs have testified that they have even been taken to the Mining Department and geology labs where real gold is melted to see if the deal is real. They are also allowed to weigh and seal the shipments only to end up with counterfeit gold bars.
Suspects in court include Jared Otieno, Samir Munyinyi, Paul Kobia, Ricky Otieno, Philip Oroko and Kevin Obia aka Kevin Kleigh.
One of the victims is rally driver and Dutch investor Bernhard Ten Brinke, who lost more than $ 1.5 million to alleged fraudster Elvis Ouma Muga aka Nick Muganda.
Mr Brinke claims he transferred the amount to a lawyer who was involved in the transaction sometime in January 2021 for the purchase of 500kg of gold, but the shipment was never delivered to him. He says he talked to a man named George Fundu through Global Freight Management Ltd. concluded a contract for the purchase of the gold.
Mr. Brinke, allegedly accompanied by a representative, Ewuot Haanstra, visited a gold smelter and witnessed 50 kg of gold being melted. Haanstra reportedly deposited $ 1.56 million in an escrow account opened by Ochieng Opiyo Advocates for the payment of 450 kg of gold, but Mr Muga was unable to deliver the precious metal.
In April the Kenyan blocked Supreme Court multiple accounts in two banks following a motion by the Assets Recovery Agency alleging the owners were involved in money laundering.
The frozen accounts belong to Mubadala Merchants Limited, First Cargo Logistics Ltd, First Line Capital Ltd and Doumbe Malonga Eddy Michel and are being held by Standard Chartered Bank and Cooperative Bank.
Christian Galati, a Swiss man who accused Mr Obia of fraud, said before one Court in Nairobi that he was convinced that all the bars that were presented to him were gold.
When the gold bars were shown to him, they were placed in 17 boxes and he chose box number 4. < / p>
During the release On charges of receiving $ 143,762 from Christian Galati, a Swiss citizen, in July 2021, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Fran cis Andayi wondered why the victim would be moving around with a lot of cash when the world shifted to paperless transactions was.
“He does all of this when he’s an international businessman with several companies in. presented to different parts of the world, “said the magistrate.
” The box was sealed with the blue seal number 1731363. Accompanied by the customs officer who was turned away at the security point, the complainant (Mr Galati) went to his Hilton room with the boxes. He came back with the cash in cash and gave it to Smith Mackenzie, who gave it to the accused (Kobia), ”noted Mr. Andayi.
Although the fraudulent fundraising charges were dropped, the court found Mr. Kobia in his defense for allegedly trying to get millions more from Mr. Galati. He was arrested after receiving an additional $ 57,000 from Mr. Galati. An accomplice identified only as Smith Mackenzie but told the court it was Mr. Otieno allegedly escaped a police train.
Mr. Otieno and several others are fighting multiple cases in court, because they allegedly received millions from foreigners with promises to deliver gold to them. Mr. Galati later tested the broadcast only to find out that it was brass and not gold.
In addition to fake gold fees, Mr. Otieno is fighting a petition from the Assets Recovery Agency that has confiscated his property, including a Bentley furniture and electrical appliances. The items were confiscated from his home in Kaputei Gardens, Kilimani, with the agency claiming the proceeds of crime.
In the fraud case, Mr. Otieno and 15 others conspiracy to defraud the foreigner Sounthorn. indicted Chathavong, $ 3 million. They dismissed the charges and are free.
Prosecutors alleged that they showed heavy metal boxes of alleged real gold to Chathavong, a director of the Simuong Group Company in Laos, between February 8 and 25, 2019 .
Said transaction allegedly took place in the office trade on behalf of Nirone Keeping Ltd while pretending to be selling real gold. In the second charge, the suspects were charged with obtaining money on false pretenses.
Prosecutors alleged that the defendants made stamps as real stickers that were approved by the Ghanaian customs authorities. All are said to have been found with fake gold. The defendants included two students, a guard, a gardener, and a Chader and two Congolese.
In another case, Mr. Otieno and four others are charged with Ksh 23 million (203,183 US- Dollars) to have received a shipment of gold. He was charged along with Javier Runili, Philip Aroko, Roy Shirekuli and Ismail Shikanda Aballah.
One of the plaintiffs, Belgian Irvin van Lommen, remembered falling victim to Mr Munyinyi’s tricks, The one charged with fraud was a Muhummet Murtoglu of USD 225,522 for the delivery of 360 kg of gold in 2018.
Van Lommen, Chief Executive Officer of Global invest Luxembourg SA, said he was with Muhummet, a business partner Having arrived in search of an investment in Kampala opportunities. According to court records, Munyinyi fraudulently received $ 257,000 from Muhummet between March 28 and April 12, 2018 at Wuyi Plaza along Galana Road in Kilimani, Nairobi, by pretending to sell him the precious metal.
Van Lommen said they met with several business people during their stay in Kampala and some of them offered gold export opportunities. He returned to Europe, but his associate, Muhummet, stayed in Kampala.
Sometime in March 2018, he said that Muhummet had called him and told him that he had a contract to export gold through his company completed by a person named Cyprian Kashindi identified as Folk Moon, based in Kampala. They completed the signing of the contract in front of a lawyer in Kampala and had to part with $ 241,000 in taxes that would be incurred on exporting the shipment. He transferred the Global Invest money to the attorney for the delivery of 200 kg of gold.
But after making the payment, the seller announced a change in plans and said he had encountered a problem and couldn’t export Kampala so he would do it from Nairobi. He was referred to another lawyer in Nairobi, but when he reached town they were told that more money would be needed to clear the shipment. They suspected fraud and refused to part with more cash. While in Nairobi, they were contacted by another “gold seller”, Samir Munyinyi and his associate, Anthony Kanga. The two allegedly offered to sell them 360 kg of gold. This time an attorney would endorse the contract.
In the new agreement, investors would have to pay $ 100,000 in export taxes while the attorney would withhold 5kg of gold as collateral. The investor said the payments were made via bank transfer from his company to the escrow account. They later discovered that the man who claimed to be a lawyer was a scam. A few days later, the investor was told that he needed an export permit which required an additional $ 100,000, which he paid, only to learn that the certificate had disappeared and more money was needed. Then they discovered they had been betrayed and reported to the Kilimani Police, resulting in the arrest of Munyinyi and his accomplice, but Otieno, the fake lawyer, was nowhere to be found.
Fake Gold Nuggets
Counterfeit gold nuggets
Mr Kobia, popularly known as Prezda, fights claims that he received $ 122,853 from an Italian, Antonio Gianni. Court documents show that he and his accomplices presented metal boxes that allegedly contained real gold bars. He also claimed to have acted as Duaf International Ltd and Malva Amit Ltd and pretended to be a real gold business.
Kobia and Tanya Yvonne Goes have denied another charge of receiving money on false pretenses have on April 25, 2019. He is also charged with possession of counterfeit gold nuggets, crucibles, metal tongs, X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, various stamps and company seals to convince unsuspecting people that they are running a real gold business.
Der Businessman is also accused of stamping stamps from the National Treasury, the Central Bank of Kenya, the Director of Geological Survey, the Ministry of Mining, the Customs and Excise Department of the Kenyan Tax Authority, the Bureau of the Bureau of Procurement Nairobi and that of the Registrar of Companies Kenya.
Nigerian Gideon Nika Gbaravopnu and his alleged Kenyan accomplice Seth Steve Okute wu rden charged with receiving $ 171,994 from another Italian company, Essman, Lewis Ikenna, claiming they were able to facilitate the gold transfer. Other gold fraud suspects include Innocent Muliro and Alexander Kirandakati aka Morgan Junior Jaggwe, a Ugandan who is accused of receiving $ 141,345 through counterfeit gold deals, and Nigerian Yusuf Daniel Masara aka Dr was able to help him when buying 50 kg of gold to help.