Sh180M, Sh116M… Police smoke out Nairobi’s ‘super-connected con artist’

By Eric Wainaina On Thu, 17 Oct, 2019 12:53 | 2 mins read
Joy Wangari Kamau aka Patricia Mareka
Suspected con artist Joy Wangari Kamau aka Patricia Mareka. PHOTO | COURTESY

Police have finally arrested a woman suspected to be the mastermind of a multi-million-shilling tenders supply racket allegedly involving State House and Department of Defense (DoD).

Businessmen have lost millions to the tall and light-skinned woman who police say masquerades as a project manager or procurement staff at either State House or Harambee House Annex.

Besides, the woman is accused of being the leader of a group of con men pretending to be intelligence or military officers.

Joy Wangari Kamau aka Patricia Mareka has been on the radar of police since last year after she allegedly masterminded a scam that saw a businessman lose Sh168 million in a fake tender for supply of laptops to State House and DoD.

She is alleged to be well-connected with some of the high and mighty in politics and government, who reportedly have been shielding her from the law.

Her arrest happened on Tuesday on Lenana Road in Nairobi and one of her victims, Charles Gathii, who claimed he lost Sh116 million, positively identified her in an identification parade.

Gathii, a director of Microhouse Technlogies, was reportedly awarded a fake tender in January 2018 by people who took him to State House and Harambee House Annex where he met the “boss lady.”

Wangari is also facing other fraud-related charges, some of which she has jumped bail, one being where she allegedly defrauded Makueni businessman Stephen Ngei Sh180 million last year in yet another fake computer tender.

The head of Investigations Bureau at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, John Kariuki, confirmed Wangari’s arrest, adding that she will appear in court on Thursday.

Gathii claims he was lured into the scam by a man who identified himself as a National Intelligence Officer (NSIS), Henry Simiyu, but whose real name is Fredrick Mungala Muhanji. He said the man twice at Nyati House.

Gathii claimed he also met Wangari at State House and Harambee House Annex.

In his statement to the DCI, Gathii said a relative introduced him to a Mr Onesmus Waiguru, who allegedly worked at the Office of Auditor General.

Waiguru, he wrote, was a close to a woman only identified as Tabitha, who allegedly worked at Nyayo House. Gathii said Tabitha introduced him to Simiyu at a meeting at Chester House in January 2018.

It was Simiyu, Gathii, said who convinced him to sign a “confidential non-disclosure agreement” which was the condition for the project to proceed upon submission of a proposal and company profile.

On April 27, 2018, his firm wrote to “State House” to follow up with the payments and a response was done on May 8, 2018 showing that it would be settled in 30 days.

The payment never came.