As reports of carjacking increase by the day, a new car fraud syndicate, involving a car dealer, who is well connected with crooks to defraud unsuspecting clients, has raised alarm over the rot in the motor industry.
On the spot is Mombasa car dealer Ali Motors with a branch in Kisumu. The dealer is accused of conning a client, Kevin Onyango, who runs a mechanic in Kisumu.
It’s alleged that the dealer sends criminals to follow cars he has sold on instalment and have them stolen then switches off the tracking system, that he controls, on condition that the balance is cleared.
In the recent case, Onyango accuses the dealer of hatching a plot where his vehicle worth Ksh2.4 million was stolen after his driver was drugged within Ongalo area in Kisian and dumped in a guest house.
The complainant claims to have paid Ksh1 million for the car and agreed with the dealer to pay the remaining amount on instalments of Ksh117,330 for a period of one year —- from December 28, 2018, to November 2019.
The deposit was made through a bank transfer from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to Diamond Trust Bank of Account Number 02009110011 with Account Name Ali Cars Ltd.
He says he had paid nearly Ksh500,000 from the time the vehicle was delivered to him to the time the vehicle was stolen in a racket he belives the car dealer was the mastermind.
According to Onyango, the car dealer takes advantage of the tracking system feature, in the company’s control, to defraud his clients.
His claims are based on the manner in which the vehicle was stolen only to be later recovered in Eldoret with a different registration number of KCF 572S instead of its initial plate number KCS 175W.
Onyango says moments after his vehicle — Toyota Hilux KCS 175W Vigo Pickup — was stolen, he reported the incident at Maseno Police Station. It was captured under OB No 2/28/03/2019.
He claims that immediately he received information that his vehicle had been stolen, he contacted the car dealer, who had installed a car tracking system in the vehicle, to help him trace its whereabouts.
The dealer tracked the car to Chebarbar in Nandi County.
However, he became suspicious after the car dealer later claimed that he could not locate the vehicle as the track system had failed.
According to Onyango, the dealer told him that the tracker had been tampered by unknown people.
Determined to found his vehicle, Onyango, with the help of the police traced the vehicle and located it in a local garage in Eldoret.
The police towed the vehicle to Maseno Police station and took in two mechanics for questioning. One of the suspects escaped arrest mysteriously.
The arrested persons were later released on police bond.
The investigating officer embarked on a mission to find the owner of the KFC 572S number plate on the vehicle from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
He would later discover that the number plate was in line with the chassis or frame numbers of the Hilux and it was previously owned by George Wambua Ngui and later James Kanae Wangunyu.
To utter shocking revelations, KCS 175W, which was the number plate Onyango was issued with when he bought the vehicle, was discovered to be having a different chassis number owned by Zainab and Zumar Motoes (K) Limited.
Onyango reached out to his Mombasa dealer over the matter but was requested to send Ksh20,000 to cater for bus fare costs for Shahid, a representative of the company, who was being sent to help him[Onyango] solve the issue.
The complainant is said to have only sent Ksh10,000 as bus fare by Mpesa on May 19 at 6.53pm.
However, Shahid didn’t turn up but instead sent two Indians based in Kisumu to represent him. The two didn’t show up until they were arrested and locked up at the Maseno station. Reports indicate that they were later released on Ksh100, 000 police bond after spending a night in the cells.
Prior to their release, the Mombasa dealer had allegedly bragged that he would use his police networks to have the two freed.
It was later discovered that Shahid did not send a company representative as he purported — he had picked the two people, unknown to his staff in Kisumu, to represent him.
A police officer from the Kisumu County Headquarters was sent to assess the vehicle at the Maseno Police station in comparison with some of the documents in Onyango’s possession.
Onyango disclosed that the receipts of a battery, the four wheels he had purchased and the cut out were corroborating with the items the vehicle at the station had.
Nevertheless, Hamman, an employee of Shahid in Kisumu confirmed that the vehicle at the station was the same one they had delivered to Onyango. He noted that if Onyango wanted his car back he should go to Mombasa where he paid the money.
Quizzed on the revelations, Shahid confirmed that his company is the one that had indeed installed the tracking system on Onyango’s vehicle but maintained that he could not locate it. He insisted that Onyango should pay him the remaining amount for the purchase of the vehicle.
Distressed, Onyango is now appealing to the authorities — Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, DCI boss George Kinoti and the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji — to intervene and help his recover his car.