Congolese trader charged with Sh120m fraud in fake gold deal

Andre Kongolo Tshikunga has dual citizenship of Congo and Kenya at a Milimani court on Friday, January 7, 2022. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A Congolese businessman has been charged with defrauding a Ukrainian of more than Sh120 million in a fake gold scam.

Andre Kongolo Tshikunga alias Joseph Kimo could face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 313 of the Penal Code.

According to the charge sheet, Tshikunga defrauded Kovalenko Hennadii of $1,059,000 (Sh120,090,600) by falsely pretending that he was in a position to sell him a consignment of gold which turned out to be fake.

He is accused of committing the offence between January 2018 and November 2018 at Afrisolutions Company Limited in Kileleshwa in Nairobi.

Tshikandi will spend another three nights in police custody to await a ruling on his bail application after Hennadii’s lawyer Gerry Owuor successfully opposed his release.

Owuor told Milimani Court Chief Magistrate Bernard Ochoi that Tshikunga was a flight risk and was likely to flee from the country if released on bail to avoid facing the stiff penalties if found guilty.

“The accused has no known fixed aboard in the country and the fact that he will surrender his passport is not a guarantee that he will attend court. We have no assurance that he will be available for the trial if released on bail,” said Owuor.

But Tshikunga’s lawyer Stanley Kangahi pleaded with the court to grant him bail, arguing that he was a dual citizen with a Kenyan identity card, which allows him to enjoy full rights as a Kenyan citizen.

According to Kangahi, the businessman has a fixed aboard in Kenya and has no intention of escaping the country until the trial concludes.

Tshikunga has been in police custody since Friday last week when the court allowed his detention for seven days to enable police complete investigations and record statements from key witnesses.

The magistrate directed that Tshikunga be detained at Capitol Hill Police Station until Monday next week when he will give a ruling on the bail application. 

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