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Police studying CCTV footage obtained from fake gold house

By Cyrus Ombati | May 15th 2019 | 3 min read
Plain-cloth police officers carry away materials confiscated where 10 people were arrested following a tipoff on a scam involving fraudsters dealing in gold trade. [Jonah Onyango/Standard]

Detectives from the cybercrime unit are studying CCTV footage confiscated from a house where fake gold was seized on Monday.

They hope the footage will help know those who visited the six-bedroom house and their mission. The house had been turned to offices and had a boardroom and executive office.

“We will know more from the footage. This was the base for every fake gold operations in the city,” said a detective aware of the operation.

Those who had seen the footage say dozens of dealers and those targeted for fraud are captured therein.

Officers from the cybercrime unit accompanied those from Kilimani and Serious Crime in the raid that saw a number of items seized including the CCTV footage.

Police told the court that detectives are pursuing more suspects who are believed to be at large as well as obtain elimination prints to establish the suspects’ movements.

Police say they suspect the suspects are engaging in cyber related crimes within and outside the country hence the country at risk. The tenant is yet to be known but police said they are waiting for leases signed between the owner and tenant.

Fifteen suspects who were arrested in the operation will remain in police custody for seven more days pending conclusion of investigations.

The accused were arraigned in court on Tuesday where the prosecution sought for more time to conclude investigations.

In a miscellaneous application, police told the court more time was needed to establish the nationalities of three of the suspects- Abouma Famous, Salim Ali Abubakar and Albert Likole Lokunda.

The other suspects included Philip Nahashon Naulu, Maxwell Oyuga Oduor, Tom Okoth, Peter Omondi Onyach, Jalang’o Abdala Okoth, Annangton Modishia, William Otieno Onyango, Govhi Otieno Paul, Michael Ochieng, Cynthia Githinji, Joyce Akinyi, Faith Nzisa Nyamai.

The investigators also said they were yet to confirm the genuineness of the metal bar alleged to be gold that were recovered in the respondents’ office on Kaputei road in Valley Arcade, Nairobi.

The suspects were nabbed in a rented stand-alone house on Kaputei road in Valley Arcade, Nairobi, where fake gold was also discovered.

The consignment bearing Ghanian custom papers was stuffed in metallic boxes and their weight had been altered using cement and mallets.

Eight vehicles belonging to the suspects bearing fake number plates were also seized during the raid.

The officers said the raid was part of a larger operation that is ongoing on the fraudsters operating in the country.

This followed numerous complaints that had been registered with the DCI with many foreigners being conned.

“We receive at least two complaints that they have been defrauded of money in a gold syndicate. And they give similar descriptions on the players in the ring,” said another officer aware of the probe.

The operation was triggered by a complaint by members of Dubai royal family that was defrauded close to Sh400 million by some of the players in the syndicate.

The complaint and subsequent probe into the matter forced police to raise concerns over rising cases where foreigners are conned of money by Kenyans operating with fake gold bars.

This comes amid reports a senator is among at least six people under investigations after they conned the member of Dubai royal family of close to Sh400 million on claims they would sell them gold.

The probe is set to start officially after the complainant or their representative records a statement with the police.

Kinoti urged Embassies and High Commissions to advise their nationals coming in for business.

"The gold scam has now reached alarming levels as unsuspecting foreign nationals are being swindled large amounts of money by fraudsters," he said.

Kinoti said Kenyans and foreign nationals must ensure that they conduct proper due diligence on the person(s) they intend to engage in the gold buying business.

The police boss said foreigners should first contact the Department of Mines and Geology for procedure that pertains to buying and selling of gold and other precious metals.

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