A Kenyan national has been arrested in Nairobi in connection with a fake gold deal that left an Indian businessman counting losses of close to Sh200 million.
Hezbon Nyabola was arrested by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) following a complaint filed by the Mumbai-based investor identified as Malian Sanjay.
According to the DCI, the suspect worked jointly with a fraudster from Guinea Bissau identified as Cavalho Lopes to defraud the businessman the colossal amount.
Lopes, who styles himself as a gold dealer, is said to have obtained $1,780,000 from Sanjay on the pretext that he would sell him 44.45 Kgs of gold.
According to investigations by Serious Crimes detectives based at DCI headquarters, the gold was to be shipped from Guinea Bissau through Kigali before being loaded on a plane to India via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
DCI revealed on Wednesday that once the complainant received confirmation from Lopes that the shipment was on transit to Nairobi, he was contacted Nyabola who purported to be from Kenya Revenue Authority a few days after.
Nyabola is alleged to have informed the victim that his consignment, Airway Bill No706-27720626, had been detained at JKIA for non-payment of customs duty.
Sanjay sent the suspect a further $26,700 to clear the consignment and facilitate its shipment.
“All along, the investor had not realized that he had been scammed until the gold failed to arrive in India within the agreed upon time,” said DCI.
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The businessman became suspicious and sought the assistance of the DCI detectives in Kenya.
The sleuths launched investigations into the claims and managed to recover the consignment at JKIA.
However, upon inspection, DCI said, what was supposed to be gold worth over Sh190 million was discovered to be river bed pebbles, neatly arranged in a box.
The detectives tracked down and arrested Nyabola.
The suspect has been placed in custody pending arraignment to answer charges of obtaining money by false pretenses.