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How woman conned friend over Sh2.8m posing as lover

Scandals
 Mildred Lujiri before Nakuru Principal Magistrate Ruth Kefa on May 27, 2024. (Courtesy)

Noel Akivembe, 51 and Mildred Lujiri, 49, grew up together as best friends and on several occasions, they referred to each other as sisters from different mothers.

Their relationship was very tight to the point that Akivembe asked Lujiri to help her find a husband.

Akivembe, who has three children, felt she was growing old and wanted to settle down.

Two years ago, The Nairobian ran a story of how Akivembe was conned Sh2.8 million by her alleged lover, Daniel Ochieng.

The story was titled “Woman: I sent my ‘sick lover’ over Sh3 million, now I cannot trace him”.

By then, The Nairobian believed that it was Ochieng who had conned Akivembe.

The story in summary, was Akivembe’s narration of how she had been sending money to Ochieng who was allegedly recuperating in an Indian Hospital after breaking his spine.

“I only met him once after my friend introduced us. From then I communicated with him through WhatsApp.

‘‘The last time we spoke he asked for Sh130,000 to help facilitate his release from an Indian Immigration Prison where he had been detained for possessing expired travel documents,” she said.

Akivembe said she was sending money to Ochieng through Lujiri, who had introduced him as a close relative.

Lujiri would then allegedly send money to Ochieng through PayPal, a money transfer application.

However, once the story ran things were not adding up and Akivembe went to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to have the matter investigated.

Investigations have now revealed that it was Lujiri who pretended she was Ochieng and conned her friend.

The investigations were authorised in May 2022, by then Nakuru County Criminal Investigation Officer (CCIO) Anthony Sunguti.

The investigations have revealed that Lujiri introduced a fake relative to Akivembe, claiming he was interested in her.

It has also revealed that Lujiri sent Akivembe a number she believed was Ochieng’s but it was her (Lujiri) second number.

“Lujiri was communicating with Akivembe via WhatsApp using the new number, while pretending she was Ochieng,” reads the police report.

According to the DCI, Lujiri received the money but she never sent it to anyone and she cooked up stories to entice Akivembe to send her more money.

In her statement, Akivembe said she realised that a picture she believed was Ochieng who she saw once, is that of a Kenyan politician.

She said that Lujiri, whom she then believed was Ochieng, sent her several pictures depicting him in an hospital in India undergoing treatment.

She said she only saw Ochieng once in May 2021, but she trusted Lujiri so much and the fact that he was allegedly interested in her was enough.

In her M-Pesa statement seen by The Nairobian, Akivembe sent Sh20,200 at 4:16pm on August 4, 2021 to cater for his medication.

On August 5, 2021, she transferred Sh25,000 at 12:28pm, and on August 6, 2021, she sent Sh5,030 at 7:52am and Sh6,200 at 11:02am.

“Since then, I have been sending money whenever he asked me to facilitate his treatment, including Sh140,000 on August 29, 2021,” she wrote in her statement.

In August 2021 alone, Akivembe sent Sh1,017,230, as per her M-Pesa statement.

On Monday May 27, she was charged with cheating, before Nakuru Principal Magistrate Ruth Kefa.

“On dates between August 5, 2021 and August 17, 2022 at unknown places with others by means of fraud and tricks, you (Lujiri) induced Akivembe to transfer to you through M-Pesa Sh2,869,287,” read the charge sheet.

Lujiri denied the charge.

She was released on a bond of Sh1 million, with a surety of similar amount.

Her case will be mentioned on June 11 for pretrial.

 

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