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Sh1 billion gold scam suspect wanted to evade charges, officer tells court

National
 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]

A policeman told the court that officers busted a gold scam suspect after a tip-off from Tunisia that its national was coming to Kenya to buy gold from a known swindler.

In his response to an application by Joseph Lendrix Waswa to stop charges in a Sh1 billion fake dollars saga, Police Inspector Nicholas Njoroge told the court that he interrogated the Tunisian national who spilled the beans that Waswa was to sell gold to him.

Mr Njoroge said the complainant, Biel Arfaoul, said that he had jetted into the country to buy 10 kilogrammes of gold. However, the officer said that Waswa instead floated an idea of exporting dollars out of Kenya.

Njoroge told Justice Chacha Mwita that Arfaoul was required to pay $400,000 (Sh61.5 million) for the deal, which he agreed upon seeing the dollars. According to the senior police officer, they were monitoring the Tunisian national, which led them to one Alice Kavata.

The court heard that Kavata drove Arfaoul to a house in Garden Estate and was ushered into a room which had dollars of 100 denomination packed inside four boxes.

Njoroge said officers raided the building and arrested 10 persons. He further said that they found 82 metallic boxes and plain papers that were suspected to be used in making US dollars.

The officers also allegedly found a Ceska pistol with 16 rounds of ammunition and a pair of handcuffs.

Njoroge said that when the first raid happened, Waswa was not around. However, when the police returned, the suspect saw them and ran away to evade arrest.

The officer said that on the day Waswa presented himself to the DCI office, he was armed with a Sh200,000 cash bail order barring the police from arresting him.

Njoroge said that on the day Waswa was to be charged, he did not appear in court and alleged that he was sick. The plea, the court heard, was deferred to October 9.

On the day, the investigator said that Waswa said he was still sick and asked for 60 more days. But the court declined and pushed the plea date to October 23.

When he was to be charged, his lawyer told the court that Waswa had filed a case in the High Court.

Waswa, Police Constable Festo Alula, Lenace Wakachuka, Rahma Abdi Hassan, Alice Kavata, Joseph Gikonyo, Stephen Andere and Nelson Fru Che claim that the police detained them for two days without telling them the reason for their arrest.

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