Suspect in Sh180m laptop fraud probe is still free months later

Police have yet to arrest a man suspected of defrauding a Makueni businessman of Sh180 million in a laptop deal.

Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti said the man, said to be the main suspect in the scheme involving 2,800 laptops, had gone into hiding but would soon be apprehended.

Just days after Stephen Ngei Musyoka, who owns Makindu Motors Limited, which supplied the gadgets, complained to his office, the DCI told The Standard that police would seek a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.

“I have ordered my officers to immediately apply for a warrant of arrest,” Mr Kinoti said.

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But through his lawyers, Veronica & Associates Advocates, Mr Musyoka told Kinoti that the man had yet to be arrested in spite court directives. Several other suspects have been charged in connection with the case.

“The cases have yet to be consolidated. It is our opinion that consolidation of these files will not render justice to our client if the key suspect is not arrested,” Veronica & Associates Advocates argued.

The lawyers want to know why the case was transferred from Athi River Police station, Machakos County, where it was reported, to Central Police Station in Nairobi.

“On August 30, 2018, it was reported in the media that the key suspect was finally arrested, but sadly and surprisingly, the suspect has never been taken to court,” the lawyers noted.

The suspect filed a miscellaneous application for anticipatory bail that was heard in November 2018, when the court delivered a ruling in favour of the prosecution.

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“Despite this, the man was not arrested,” the complainant said, arguing that a loan he took to fund the laptop deal continued to accrue interest.

“Our client is frustrated and unsatisfied with the pace at which the investigations are being carried out. Mainly on the fact that the main culprit is still a free man, not yet arrested or charged,” argued Musyoka’s lawyers.

Last year, police arrested seven people suspected to have masqueraded as Deputy President William Ruto’s security detail. During the raid, laptops with fake Government stickers were seized.

It emerged that the Loresho house from which the consignment was impounded belonged to the suspect, a businessman-cum-politician.

A document showing an agreement between two individuals concerning the storage of the laptops emerged.

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The document stated that the suspected had agreed to store the machines at the house at a fee.

It stipulates that 1,247 pieces of HP laptops would be stored at House No. 220 Kyuna Rise for a monthly fee of Sh60,000 plus VAT. The two agreed to shoulder tax obligations independently.

Police have promised to dig deeper into the incident and bring all suspects to book.

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