It is only in magical Kenya that con artists can impersonate and pose as the president and still somehow manage to swindle a handsome fortune out of a prominent businessman.
In the head-turner of a case, seven suspects are accused of conning Sameer Africa Chairman Naushad Merali out of Ksh10 million while posing as President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The accused; Joseph Waswa, Duncan Muchai, Isaac Wajekeche, William Simiyu, David Luganya, Gilbert Kirunja and Anthony Wafula, were arraigned in Court Monday but they were not charged as the prosecution sought more time to complete investigations.
The suspects were arrested on Friday and Saturday in a sting operation by detectives from the DCI special crime prevention Unit.
Court documents show that they used the mobile number 0722 208842 – that brings up President Uhuru’s name on the True Caller application – to contact Naushud.
The caller, who is said to have perfected the art of mimicking the President’s voice, wanted the Sameer chairman to give facilitation fees so that ‘State House’ would assist in the purchase of a piece of land in Nairobi.
Believing he had spoken to President Uhuru, Mr Merali, who was out of the country on a business trip at the time, directed Sameer Africa Finance Director Akif Hamid Butt to process the money.
The Court heard that Mr Butt was told the money was for the purchase of a parcel of land in Milimani.
The suspects, who operate as State House officials, gave Mr Butt an Equity Bank account number into which the Sh10 million was wired.
While seeking to detain the suspects for 10 days, Corporal James Mwangi said police are investigating forgery, conspiracy to commit to commit fraud and obtaining money by false pretences.
“The nature of investigations is complex since it requires communication data from several service providers, which requires time. [Time is required] to establish the details of the bank account … and the signatories.”
“Due to the complexity of the investigations and the number of suspects involved, including some who are still at large, it is expected that the investigation will involve going through voluminous documents including bank documents and call data records analysis,” reads an affidavit by Mr Mwangi, who is based at the DCI Headquarters.
Police have seized police a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Toyota Mark X, a Toyota Axio and a Toyota Crown in connection with the ‘State House’ syndicate.
Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko ordered the suspects to be held at Muthaiga Police Station until a ruling on their bail application on Tuesday next week.