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Businessman arraigned in court over Syokimau fraud

By | December 1st 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Cyrus Ombati

The Criminal Investigations Department has now launched an investigation into the illegal sale of the controversial Syokimau and Athi River parcels of land to unsuspecting Kenyans who were duped to buy government land.

On Wednesday, a city businessman allegedly involved in the illegal sale and allocation of the plots was arrested for questioning at the CID headquarters on Kiambu road.

He was arraigned in Kiambu law courts on Thursday and charged with fraud. The businessman was arrested outside a restaurant on Koinange Street in Nairobi.

The police are particularly interested in establishing how some businessmen allegedly executed a deal of forging documents to enable them sell public land that belongs to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

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Police said they were looking for some other businessmen and government officials in various departments including the Lands Ministry who played part in issuing title deeds to land buyers in Syokimau.

It is likely more officials from the affected departments will be questioned in the investigations, police said on Thursday.

A number of people were forcefully evicted two weeks ago and their houses demolished after they were accused of encroaching on public land.

Some of them have accused the government of failing to protect them, leading to the massive losses they have incurred in the dubious land deal.

The land belongs to the Kenya Airports Authority but Mavoko county council had been claiming to be the owners of the same.

Several houses valued at millions of shillings were demolished in an exercise launched by KAA for safety of flights from JKIA.

The demolition caused uproar in Parliament leading to the formation of a committee to investigate the incident.

A parliamentary committee led by Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi is currently investigating the illegal sale of land in parts of Nairobi and neighbouring Mavoko and Athi River regions.

Senior government officials have so far appeared before the committee to answer questions in relation to government demolitions which begun a few weeks ago.

Lands officials conceded before the committee that many title deeds and other land related documents were fake.

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