The court has given police 12 hours to charge Abdiqafer Abey for allegedly defrauding 34 small-scale rice traders and other business people in Kisii town more than Sh 16.4 million.
Abey appeared in Court on Wednesday afternoon before Kisii Magistrate Dorcas Mac Andere.
The Magistrate argued that the admission by the suspect that he was involved in a deal that did materialize was evidence enough that he had committed an offence.
"I order that the suspect be charged formally on Thursday morning and a proper criminal application be filed for bond determination."
An application to detain him had been filed by the investigating officer, Police Constable Thomas Muthegi deployed to DCI Kitutu Central.
Muthegi said that the suspect was being investigated for a series of cases of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 214 of the penal code and several other cases of cheating contrary to section 315 of the penal code that was reported by various complaints at Nyanchwa police station.
In his application, the officer told the Court that the victims were defrauded cumulatively a total of Sh 16.4 million.
According to the officer, the suspect is alleged to have lied to the victims that he had imported rice from Tanzania that once delivered to him he could fetch a huge profit, a fact that was not true.
The suspect is said to have received the money between January 2021 and January 2023. The least money received was Sh 100,000 while the highest was Sh 1.3 million.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
"Pursuant to the reports, the suspect, on January 14, 2023 closed his Mpesa shop and disappeared from Kisii town. He was spotted in Nairobi but the could not establish the actual location because his phone was off."
In court documents, Muthegi said that on January 16, 2023, intelligence reports indicated that the suspect was spotted within Wilson Airport and that DCI officers at the Airport were reached and confirmed he had boarded a flight 5Y-FAR.
The suspect disembarked from the flight that was destined for El Wak.
"The suspect is a flight risk. He was leaving for the volatile area of El Wak yet his home is around Mandera. We need to retain him to conclude our investigations as well as record witness statements."
Advocate Shavin Kaba appearing for the suspect said the law allows his client to be released on bond terms awaiting Prosecution.
"Article 49 of the Constitution gives the accused a right to be granted bond terms awaiting trial. The suspect was not fleeing the country but visiting his home. This is a civil case where transactions were done for a long period."
The suspect will spend a night at Nyanchwa Police station.