Lawyer fails to turn up to testify against suspects in fake gold case

A display of fake gold coins impounded by the police. [File, Standard]

A lawyer expected to testify in a case where a businessman is charged with defrauding a German over Sh27 million in fake gold transaction failed to appear in court on Thursday.

The prosecution told magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot that Thomas Otieno had traveled to Kisumu, hence, he could not make it to court.

They sought the case to be adjourned until the witness avails himself to court during the next hearing.

Samir Munyinyi, the businessman, is charged with obtaining money by false pretenses contrary to section 313 of the penal code.

Munyinyi’s charge sheet indicates that on the period between March 28,2018 and April 12,2018 at Wuyi Plaza along Galana road in Kilimani, Nairobi County, jointly with others not before the court, he fraudulently obtained 257,000 USD from Mertroglu Muhammet by pretending to be able to sell him 360 kilograms of gold.

He is also facing another charge jointly with Congolese businessman Eric Amisi Bin Ramazani where they have been accused of obtaining from Vladimir Borisenko USD 202,404 (21,788,360 million) by pretending that they were in a position to supply him with 100 kilograms of gold.

It is said that the lawyer Thomas Otieno is at the center of the matter because he has been mentioned by the witnesses who have already testified in the case.

The witnesses told the court that the Otieno is the one who received the money on behalf of the accused

The prosecution has not opposed bond against Munyinyi and has equally been directed to make available all documents it will rely on during the hearing.

A magistrate has released the suspect on a bond of Sh2 million or a cash bail of Sh 500,000 after he denied the charge.

Mr Otieno has been listed among the witness because who held the funds (in dollars) in an escrow account before releasing to Munyinyi

Munyinyi was arrested for introducing himself to the foreigner as a shipper who owns a company called Sarume(K) Ltd.

He is alleged to have tricked the complainant that he could supply 360Kgs of gold and deliver it to Instabul.

The complainant realized he had been conned after releasing the money for processing of the consignment, court documents state.

Cheruiyot adjourned the hearing of the case until August 21,2019.

The Standard
Get unlimited access to The Standard website!