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Man who lost a fortune in fake gold racket to get back his Sh157m

National
 Lady Justice Esther Maina ordered that Bernhard Ten Brinke be given back his money after a two-year court battle. [iStockphoto]

A Dutch businessman will get back Sh157 million he was conned out of by fraudsters posing as gold traders.

Lady Justice Esther Maina ordered that Bernhard Ten Brinke be given back his money after a two-year court battle.

"Brinke has demonstrated that he was conned the money by people who promised to deliver him gold which turned out to be fake," ruled Maina.

The amount was being held by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) which had seized it from a Kenyan, a Cameroonian and two Zambians and their three companies.

Those named as the masterminds were Bupe Chipando, Carrolle Simutengu, Eddy Malonga, Elvis Muga and their companies Mubadala Merchants Limited, First Cargo Logistics and First Line Capital Limited.

Brinke, a rally driver, stated that his troubles started in December 2020 when he entered into a contract with Global Freight Management Limited, a Kenyan firm, for the purchase and supply of 500kg of gold worth Sh2.1 billion.

He transferred Sh171 million to the account of a lawyer who was acting on behalf of the fraudsters with a promise that he should come for the first batch of the gold consignment.

In January 2021, he chartered a private plane at Sh20 million for his two representatives Frank Wijnen and Ewout Haanstra to come to Nairobi and sign the contract for delivery of the gold only to realise that he had been conned.

He reported to ARA which filed a suit against Chipando, Simutengu, Malonga, Muga and had their accounts frozen.

ARA in its suit claimed that the traders and their companies received more than Sh728 million from foreign entities between May 2019 and January 2021 in what they suspected to be an international fake gold racket but that some of the money could not be traced.

The agency stated that to facilitate movement of the funds to their personal accounts, the traders used agreements supported by falsified custom declaration forms purportedly from Kenya Revenue Authority as proof that they were engaged in timber importation when it was a fake gold scam.

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