By Augustine Ehikioya
Indian investor, Malian Sanjay, who is based in India has been defrauded close to Sh200million in a fake gold deal involving a fraudster from Guinea Bissau, identified as Cavalho Lopes.
Instead of getting a box filled with gold worth over Sh190million, his consignment abandoned by the scammer in Kenya for shipment to India was later discovered to be neatly filled with river bed pebbles.
A statement by Kenyan Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), made available to Security Watch Africa on Friday, said “The fraudster who styles himself as a gold dealer, obtained $1,780,000 from one Malian Sanjay, based in Mumbai, India on the pretext that he would sell him 44.45 Kgs worth of gold. According to investigations by Serious Crimes detectives based at DCI headquarters, the gold was to be shipped from Guinea Bissau through Kigali before being loaded on a plane to India via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
“Once the complainant received confirmation from Lopes, that the shipment was on transit to Nairobi, he received a call from a person purporting to be from Kenya Revenue Authority a few days after.
“The caller identified as Hezbon Nyabola, informed him that his consignment, Airway Bill No706-27720626 had been detained at JKIA for non payment of customs duty.
“As a result, Sanjay sent him, a further $26,700 to clear the consignment and facilitate its shipment.
“Upto this moment, the investor had not realized that he had been scammed until the gold failed to arrive in India within the agreed upon time.”
The statement said that the victim became suspicious after sometime and sought the assistance of Kenyan detectives, “who immediately moved in and recovered the consignment at JKIA.”
It went on “However upon inspection, what was supposed to be gold worth over Sh190million was discovered to be river bed pebbles, neatly arranged in a box.
“Hezbon Nyabola has since been placed in custody, pending arraignment in court for obtaining money by false pretenses,” it stated.