Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested the prime suspect in the Ksh.439 trillion fraud scheme targeting two Dutch nationals.
Isaiah Aluodo Belek, who was nabbed in Gigiri, is believed to have drafted communications with the two foreigners, alongside eight other suspects who were arrested on Wednesday at a warehouse on Mombasa Road where several pallets containing counterfeit US dollars, suspected stolen jungle fatigues meant for police officers and Customs reflector jackets among other items were recovered.
The suspect is presently being held in police custody awaiting arraignment in court on Monday, with his vehicle – a Mercedes Benz – which is believed to have been proceeds of fraud also detained.
The State investigations agency said the other eight suspects were slapped with charges of conspiracy to defraud, being in possession of forged bank notes and possessing police uniforms.
They however pleaded not guilty to the charges and sought to be released on bond, an application which was vehemently denied by the prosecution.
The court set the date for determination of the bail application on November 21, 2023.
The suspects are; Moses Otieno, Peter Aura, Brian Waweru, John Kalombo, Peter Kisanya, Noah Ouma, Charity Njeri and Mercy Cheptoo.
“In this orchestrated fraudulent scheme, the foreigners were contacted through a WhatsApp call by a number registered in the name ‘Canopy Shield Agencies’, by a caller who informed them that their consignment of 40 pallets had been held at the Kenya Customs Warehouse pending duty fee payment of USD 36,000 (Ksh.5.5 million),” the DCI said in a statement on November 15, 2023.
Within hours of receiving the call, the duo reportedly travelled to Kenya to clear the supposed customs fees.
The complainants later told police that they had reportedly entered into a cash on transit agreement with the Central Bank of Togo to transport the Ksh.439 trillion to Dubai prior to receiving the said phone call, hence their hurried response.
“The caller who posed as a Customs officer convinced the complainants that the first batch of 40 pallets contained USD 4 billion and that they were being flown through Kenya to facilitate their clearance and smooth entry to Dubai,” said
When the two foreigners arrived, a contact person guided them to the warehouse where the supposed consignment was stored.
“Unbeknownst to the fraudsters that detectives had got wind of the on-goings. As the eight suspects got busy around the warehouse convincing their targets to part with the USD 36,000, the operations team stormed the premises,” said the DCI.
“The operation is ongoing with the two foreign nationals being interviewed to shed light on the business deal in question.”