If all went well, Chui Bing Sung from Hong Kong, China, would have procured at least 740 kilograms of gold from DRC, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone through Kenya.
Sung, who owns Checkmate Capital limited, was introduced to Elijah Murenzi Maliba alias Brian Otieno Oliende, who claimed to be a Congolese, by a fellow Chinese named Chien Hoe Yong.
Maliba claimed to be a director and a majority shareholder of Ngeweshe Mining Company Limited, a company registered in DRC and allegedly affiliated to Ngeweshe Mining Group Limited in Kenya.
When they met, Maliba had documents allegedly signed by shareholders and letters from DRC embassy in Kenya, all of which were later found to be fake.
“Through his investigations, the first plaintiff (Chui) discovered that the third defendant (Maliba or Otieno) had falsified his DRC passport and the individual he was dealing with was a Kenyan named Bruno Otieno Oliende the owner of the account held by the interested party (Credit Bank),” said Sung in court papers.
At first, Mr Sung wired $94,000 (Ksh10 million) to an account in Credit Bank registered under the name Brian Otieno Oliende. The amount was for 105 kilograms of gold from DRC, that was set to be shipped from DRC to Nairobi on July 19, 2020, before being rerouted to Hong Kong through Istanbul, Turkey. Skyway Cargo, a shipping firm based in Kenya, was mandated to execute the deal.
On November 10, 2020, another 350 kilograms would be shipped from DRC to Nairobi, then to Dubai to Hong Kong, through Kenyan charter company, Travelvog.
On the same day, another consignment of 50 kilograms was to be shipped through Emirates Flight EK722, accompanied by Yong.
Yong instructed him (Sung) to deposit $5.5 million (Ksh597 million) to an escrow account at National Bank, which was done 17 tranches.
“Despite making the above payments into the two escrow accounts held by the first and third interested parties (National Bank and Credit Bank), the plaintiffs are yet to receive a refund or profit from the various investments in the gold business or any of the gold consignments from the DRC,” says Sung.
For the gold from Tanzania, Yong claimed he had tax refunds from Tanzania Revenue Authority amounting to Ksh40 billion, which he needed some cash to process. As a result, Sung lend him at least Ksh2.5 million on different occasions through different financial institutions.
Another player, Jonathan Okoth Opande, was roped in, whose role was to coordinate the delivery and export of the 125 kilograms of gold from Tanzania.
For the transaction, Sung paid $266,800 (Ksh28 million) in an escrow account held by Osewe Alphonce Collins Opiyo at United Bank for Africa Kenya Limited, in addition to $167,200 (Ksh18 million) to an account under the name Kenedy Anyanga at Stanbic Bank Kenya.
None of the gold consignments were delivered, according to court submissions.
The accounts of the suspects were frozen on May 27, 2021, by Justice Mbogholi Msagha and the alleged victim allowed to trace the money trail and how it was spent.
“Pending the hearing and determination of the suit, the plaintiffs be and are hereby allowed to trace the money deposited into the above-mentioned accounts with a view of tracing the assets purchased by and proceeds of funds deposited into the said accounts,” Justice Msagha ruled.