A Kenyan citizen has been linked to a racket that left an Indian-based investor counting a loss of close to Sh200 million in a fake gold scam.
Mumbai-based investor Malian Sanjay lost $1,780,000 (approximately Sh195,800,000) to a fraudster from Guinea Bissau identified as Cavalho Lopes.
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations' Serious Crimes Division established that Lopes had masqueraded as a gold dealer, who was supposed to sell Sanjay 44.45kg worth of gold.
The gold was allegedly supposed to be shipped from Guinea Bissau via Kigali before landing in Kenya to be loaded onto a plane destined for India via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), where Kenyan Hezbon Nyabola allegedly comes in.
DCI detectives say Nyabola contacted Sanjay and posed as an officer of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
He reportedly informed Sanjay that his consignment was being held at JKIA for failure to pay customs duty.
Sanjay sent Nyabola $26,700 (Sh2,937,000) for clearance of the consignment and to facilitate the shipment of the same.
As time went by, Sanjay realised that he had been scammed when the gold consignment failed to reach him in India within the time frame agreed upon.
His suspicion led him to seek help from the DCI detectives, who swiftly moved to unravel the games that were being played.
The officers recovered the supposed Sh190 million worth of gold consignment and when they yanked it open they were met by the sight of neatly arranged river bed pebbles in the box.
Nyabola was immediately placed in police custody as detectives conducted further investigations.
He is expected to be arraigned in Nairobi on Thursday to face charges of obtaining money by false pretenses.