Two gold suspects who allegedly defrauded a foreigner over Sh100 million have been released on bail.
Nicholas Otieno Ndolo and Thomas Otieno Ngoe were on a Sh500,000 cash bail pending the conclusion of investigation by the police.
The duo were arraigned before Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Mwaniki where detectives from Directorate of Criminal Investigation to sought detain them for five days.
However, the magistrate declined the Directorate Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) request and released them on a cash bail saying there was no compelling reason had been adduced to detain the two.
The suspects were arrested after allegedly defrauding a foreigner USD 1 million in a fake gold deal.
The court heard that the foreigner, was introduced to Ndolo as a businessman dealing in gold business, agreed to purchase 3000kg of gold at USD 41,000 Per kg totaling to USD 123,000,000.
Ndolo provided an Equity Bank Account to the foreigner where money would be wired.
The foreigner instructed his bank in U.S.A. to wire the sum of USD 1,000,000 on 10th February 2023 by way of a swift bank transfer into the said account.
Ndolo confirmed to have received the money and said he would contact the foreigner to witness the packaging of the gold in readiness for shipment to Dubai.
The complainant however waited in vain for an appointment to witness the packaging which then prompted him to request for documentations in regard to the purchase of the said gold.
“The complainant later realized that some of the documents such as the customs entry indicated on the declaration form dated 8th March 2023 was not genuine,” claimed the DCI officer Alexander Makoma investigating the matter.
According to detectives, Ndolo started to avoid meeting the complainant and later started threatening him with deportation from Kenya which prompted him to make a report at DCI Operations Support Unit.
Detectives claim upon investigations at Equity Bank where the money was wired, it was discovered that it is operated by Thomas Otieno Ngoe, who is the second suspect and that the whole amount had been transferred to other accounts.
Ngoe had in the past been linked to another fraud where a German national, Mr Mertroglu Muhammet, was defrauded of Sh27 million in fake 360kg gold transaction.
According to the DCI, Ngoe received the money on behalf of the accused. He held the cash in dollars in an escrow account before later releasing it to the accused. Part of the payment was made through his USD account number 1183792026 held at the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
At least six lawyers are under investigations for their involvement in transactions where unsuspecting businessmen have been conned of billions of shillings, and putting the legal profession in disrepute.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched the investigations after receiving several complaints from members of the public and foreigners who have lost money despite getting assurance from the lawyers that deals were above board.
Detectives claim a quick search was conducted and a firearm was recovered from the vehicle Ngoe was driving.
“The recovered firearm is believed to have been used to commit crimes and is therefore subject for further forensic analysis as well as to establish how it was acquired by the second suspect,” the court heard.
DCI says investigations into the matter are not yet complete and they intend to recover the money defrauded from the foreigner, recover documents that the two suspects used as instruments in committing offences and subject them to necessary forensic analysis.
The court heard that the investigating officer was yet to record statements from material witnesses whom the suspects are likely to interfere with and also ascertain whether the Ngoe is a licensed firearm holder.
In their defense, the two through their lawyers asked to be released on cash bail saying no good reason had been given that they will interfere with investigations.
“We submit that it’s not the accused persons who have the capacity relating to verification of any document. They are not needed at all… Good reasons must be laid out for a party to be denied their right to freedom, there is no single good reason that has been given,” argued their lawyers.
The court heard that the two suspects were arrested in the morning and were taken around town and their phones were taken therefore there was no way they could interfere with the investigations.
Mwaniki released them on bail and directed the matter to be mentioned on April 3.