Appearing before Milimani Law Courts Magistrate Paul Mayovo, Mr Jared Otieno, a suspect in the fake gold scam, said that the current investigation emanates from a loan transaction.
Investigation officer Felix Karisa said that on May 8 and February 25, a foreigner by the name Southorn Chanthavong from Lao, who deals in the buying and selling of gold, is alleged to have been lured to a house along Kaptei Road in Kaptei Gardens.
“During the transaction, the said complainant lost US$3,000,000 (Ksh300 million) after he was duped that the items he bought were genuine gold,” he said. The court heard that Otieno is linked to fraudulent activities relating to fake gold.
Kahawa Tungu‘s investigative desk exclusively obtained the loan documents, well documented by a city lawyer in what looks like a multi-million transaction in disguise of a business loan.
Documents in our possession do not show direct involvement of Jared Otieno in the alleged loan from the said Lao Republic national to one Rose Adhiambo Omamo, facilitated by a Nairobi Lawyer.
The first loan of Ksh100 million was advanced by Sounthorn Chanthavong, on behalf of Simuong Group on February 8, 2019 to Ms Adhiambo. Acknowledgement notes in our possession show that the loan was released in cash, for unstated reasons.
In the second instance, on February 28, 2019, Ms Adhiambo received Ksh200 million from the same ‘lender’. Suspiciously, the money was also released in cash and involved the same parties.
According to a letter dated February 26 from Chanthavong, it dictated that the lawyer release the amount (Ksh200 million) to Ms Adhiambo “in cash, immediately”.
Amazingly, the amount was to be repaid in one month at an interest rate of five percent per month, meaning she would have had to repay approximately Ksh210 million. The loan agreement documents in our possession show that she got the loan since she was an “established property developer.”
However, this raises the question why a property developer would borrow such an amount for one month, since no property could be developed within such time frame in the Kenyan environment.
In case the loan was not paid within the stipulated time, it was to attract a monthly penalty of 15 percent of the outstanding arrears.
Simuong Group Company Limited was established in September 2000 as a Wood Processing Factory, Mortgage and Credit Company, Toyota dealership and Showroom, BET Hydro-power Engineering and Mining Consultant.
Recently, the company changed its name to Simuang Group Company.
The company was founded by Ekaphanh Phaphithack, a man who is barely known beyond the walls of his company, and his background concealed.
Investigators told the court that they are staring at transnational organised crime, and that some of his (Otieno’s) accomplices could be in the neighboring countries, adding that the offences committed cut across international borders.
Otieno was detained for seven days at Kileleshwa Police Station.
Kahawa Tungu could not exclusively obtain Chanthavong’s complaint documents.