Detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation have arrested a Bissau-Guinean, identified as Cavalho Lopes, for defrauding a businessman based in India amounts close to Ksh200m in a fake gold scam.
Cavalho, who the detectives say styles himself as a gold dealer, struck a $ 1.78m deal with a Mumbai-based businessman, known as Malian Sanjay, promising to sell him 44.45 kilograms of gold.
The gold was set to be shipped from Guinea Bissau through Kigali before being loaded on a India bound plane, which was schedule to pass through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
After receiving a confirmation from Cavalho Lopes that the gold shipment had left Guinea Bissau for Kigali, the Indian businessman received a call from a person purporting to be an official of the Kenya Revenue Authority. The caller, identified as Hezbon Nyabola, informed Malian that his consignment had been detained at the JKIA due to unpaid custom duty fee.
A distraught Sanjay further sent $ 26,700 to Hezbon Nyabola in a bid to have his shipment cleared by the purported KRA official.
“Up to 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. He became suspicious and sought the assistance of our detectives, who immediately moved in and recovered the consignment at JKIA,” a statement by the DCI read in part.
Sleuths from the Special Crimes unit took up the matter recovering a box, that was to be shipped with the purported gold worth Ksh190m. Upon inspection, the officers discovered that the box actually contained river bed pebbles and not gold as the client was made to believe.
The detectives have since arrested Hezbon Nyabola, pending his arraignment in court. Hezbon will be arraigned in court for obtaining money by false pretense.