Bernhard Ten Brinke, an international rally driver who lost Ksh171 million to suspected gold scammers in Kenya now wants to be enjoined in an ongoing case to recover his money.
Through his two companies, Three Gold BV and Bernhard ten Brinke Holding BV, Brinke was planning to buy gold worth Ksh2.1 billion from Kenyan company, Global Freight Management Limited owned by George Fundu.
Brinke’s representatives in Kenya, Frank Wijnen and Ewout Haanstra signed a deal with Global Freight for the supply of 500kgs of gold on December 21, 2020.
The money was wired to Ochieng’ Opiyo & Company Advocates’ account at Sidian Bank on January 11, with a further Ksh2.43 million wired to Smart Ultra, a firm that allegedly stored the gold for Mr Fundu.
However, the money was only to be transferred to Mr Fundu after a verbal approval from Mr Brinke to Mr Ochieng’.
He said Mr Opiyo made a false declaration to the bank that the money in the account was for purposes of carrying out a timber export business by a company belonging to Brinke.
“Upon the crediting of the monies by Sidian Bank, Alfred Ochieng’ Opiyo then immediately commenced an elaborate scheme to quickly move the monies out of the account into numerous accounts,” he said in an affidavit.
The Assets Recovery Agency moved to court seeking to freeze several accounts that held the money, including accounts held by Mubadala Merchants Limited, First Cargo Logistics Limited, First Line Capital Limited, and Doumbe Malonga Eddy Michel in Standard Chartered Bank and Cooperative Bank.
The court, in April, issued orders freezing the accounts.
Mr Brinke’s representatives had used at least Ksh20 million to charter a private plane to transport the consignment, but Mr Fundu was not meeting his part of the bargain.
“Global Freight Management Limited however has failed, refused and/or declined to deliver the first gold shipment as was agreed in the sale and purchase agreement. It later turned out that the defendants herein were acting in concert and in a well-coordinated enterprise to defraud the plaintiffs of their hard-earned monies in the sum of USD 1,589,760 (Ksh171.34 million) in the pretext of a transaction for sale and purchase of gold,” Mr Brinke said in court papers.
Mubadala Merchants Limited received Ksh36.63 million, Doumbe Malonga Eddy Michel (Ksh11.86 million), First Cargo Logistics Limited (Ksh4.58 million in two accounts) and First Line Cargo Limited (Ksh823,392).
Other recipients of the money include Conrad Maloba & Associates (Ksh34.5 million), Odhiambo Talam & Company Advocates (Ksh20 million), Peva Cargo (Ksh47.7 million) and Granfield Investments (Ksh25.8 million).