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Man behind pyramid scheme wanted to pay victims only Sh3.5 million

By Moses Michira | April 6th 2016

Alfred Ndakwe was willing to pay his victims only Sh3.5 million out of the billions he stole through a pyramid scheme.

Ndakwe, who is among a number of Kenyans named in leaked documents of a Panama-based law firm, concealed the billions under shell companies.

Joseph Kinyua, the lawyer representing nearly 5,900 victims, recalled that Ndakwe had sworn he was 'dead broke' at the height of the proceedings of the civil case sometimes in 2010.

It was the last conversation the lawyer had with the infamous schemer, who then promised to give all that was left of the cash he had irregularly made away with.

"Of course I did not believe him but he organised for a copy of a bankers' cheque to my office at Agip House at around 8.30pm," Kinyua said, of the man who wrecked the finances for many individuals and households.

Soon after the copy of the bankers' cheque was delivered, Ndakwe, who was at the time not feared to be a flight risk, quietly slipped from the country and relocated to South Africa.

His wife, Doreen Marete, who is among the co-accused, was last seen near her home close to the intersection of the Eastern bypass and Thika Highway.

One of Ndakwe's co-conspirators is dead while another one known as Meshack Gachagua is living in abject poverty in Nakuru, according to Kinyua.

"There has never been any will in receiving this money; I had identified several assets Ndakwe bought with my clients' money, which he could never have squandered by now," Kinyua said, citing there is little hope for compensation for his clients, some of whom have since passed on.

It is the first time that Ndakwe's victims are learning where the billions they were conned off were shipped to, following an unprecedented leakage of confidential information held by Mossack Fonseca, a Panama firm that has helped individuals, among them criminals, to hide their wealth.

Mutunga's dismissal

Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal is also named among the people who operated 11 shell companies in person or through her immediate family, through the law firm.

And while Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has dismissed media enquiries on the next step of action against his deputy, if any, the leakage has prompted protests from citizens and denial by the named people all over the world.

Among those named in the leaked documents are friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, close relatives of leaders in Britain and China- which Tuesday blocked all access to foreign media platforms.

In Iceland for instance, Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson is facing calls for his resignation in a sustained demonstration after the extent of his secret wealth held through shell companies came to the fore.

Mr Gunnlaugsson has claimed innocence and insisted he would not resign even after he was linked to a company claiming Sh420 million from three Icelandic banks. He had been involved in negotiating the settlement by the failed banks.

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