Suspects in Sh1b fake gold heist freed on bail as probe continues

A section of the thirteen suspects in a Sh1 billion gold scam whom Milimani court released on a cash bail of Sh20000 on September 12,2023. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Eleven suspects in the Sh1 billion gold heist have been released on bail after a magistrate declined to detain them.

Nairobi principal magistrate Gilbert Shikwe however allowed police to detain two foreigners also implicated in the scandal for two more days to allow investigations.

“Having perused the application seeking to detain the suspects, the court finds no compelling reasons to warrant detaining them for 21 days as requested,” ruled Shikwe.

He released Festo Wamwayi, a detective based at the DCI, on a Sh100,000 cash bail while the other ten suspects were granted Sh20,000 cash bail each.

Those released were David Misiko, Lenace Wakachuka, Rahma Hassan, Joseph Gikonyo, Stephen Andere, Alice Kavata, Flevian Omwoyo, Ian Wekesa, Duncan Muchai and Suleiman Nanji. The two Cameroonians are Nelson Fru Che and Ronald Nelson. The 13 suspects were arrested on Friday after detectives raided a house in Garden City and busted the plot to defraud a Tunisian national over Sh1 billion in a fake gold scam. The DCI on Monday made an application in court to detain the suspects for 21 days to complete investigations, arguing that the investigations were complex.

They told the court the suspects were being investigated for conspiracy to commit a felony, being in possession of a firearm and ammunitions without licence and being in possession of forged bank notes.

According to DCI, the suspects had contacted the complainant from Tunisia, one Joseph Lendrix Waswa and the director Melpa Ltd who informed him that he had consignment of gold valued at Sh1 billion and was being held in at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The complainant travelled from Tunisia on September 1 and was received by Waswa and his group and hosted at Ngara in Nairobi waiting to be shown the gold consignment, which turned out to be fake.