Nairobbery: How I Was Almost Conned Sh18 million Inside a Bank

March 21, 2019

Many stories have been told about notorious Nairobi cons and fraudsters who prowl the Kenyan Capital preying on unsuspecting civilians and businesspeople.

While not many city dwellers can admit to getting conned, statistics indicate that the average Nairobian has been swindled at least once in their lifetime.

Every other day, a new con game is exposed on the internet in a bid to warn others before they become victims. While this usually helps, Nairobi cons are known to evolve with the times so it is always advisable to remain vigilant at all times.

With that said, a solar panel dealer in Nairobi has narrated how he was almost conned of Sh18 million last month inside a bank.

On Twitter, Karani Mutonga penned a thread revealing how he got suspicious when the clients and brokers he was dealing with mentioned something about selling diamonds. They also wanted him to go to an unnamed bank to collect his money and deposit it himself instead of them transferring it into his account.

Karani’s story comes in the wake of the fake billions case at Barclays Bank, Queensway Branch in Nairobi.

Read below.


In the wake of this fake money and Barclays Bank, it has now become clear what some conmen wanted to con me in the pretext of a good business deal.

I got a call from a prospective referral namely Wangui who had a client who needed solar in South Sudan. That was four weeks ago. She gave me the number of the prospective client, Alice and I called her. I promised Wangui a commission if the sale is successful.

We met with Alice a week after and she explains the nature of the contract. She said she used to work with the UN but quit in order to do business. Actually her Truecaller indicated Alicia United Nations. She explains that there’s a South Sudan client interested.

As we were having business lunch with Alice, she requested I allow her to call in her associate in the negotiations which I did. His name was Mutuku. We agreed on the best price of solar to be delivered at a warehouse in Wilson Airport.

On that best price, they asked me to add 10k on each item as their commission. I agreed since prices were within market price. The contract sum was 18 million. Their commission was 3 million. So the price I should present to the South Sudan client would be 18M.

A week later, I got a call from Alice saying the client is in the country. We agreed to meet the following day together with Mutuku early before we meet the client. And we met. In the afternoon we met the client, introduced as Frumence.

I gave her the quotation and she complains it’s too high. I told her Alice and Mutuku already negotiated and that’s the best. She agrees but will first purchase 100 pieces worth 6 million. What happened next disorganized everything.

Frumence, the client doesn’t have cash. Instead, she has 100-carat diamond which 10.5 million, underworld value but she quotes price as 7 million. Mutuku says he had organised a buyer. He texted me saying I agree because we can sell at 10.5 Million and make 3.5 on top of sales.

At that point, I’m no longer keen on the deal. I was already getting suspicious. I told them to sell diamonds and deposit money in my account and I will supply solar. They said we meet the following day they sell to a buyer who had agreed to buy.

We agreed to meet the following day. They said that the diamond buyers agreed we meet inside their bank which we shared and they will withdraw and give me to deposit. ‘Why not transfer?’ I ask. They said gemstones are dealt with in cash. At this point, I’m silently out.

The following day we met in the morning. I arrived 2 hours before time. I tagged a friend along. I also informed a friend in the security sector to stay in adjacent hotel. We took breakfast. I told my friend to stick around until they arrived and he excuse himself.

30 minutes to our meeting I get a call from a furious Mutuku. He demands to know why I am bringing a stranger in our deal. I told them it’s just another sale but he’ll excuse himself once they arrive. So Mutuku had sent some two spies. My friend stayed in the car.

The informers were informing other guys of my movements. They wanted my friend to leave the area. He didn’t. One hour after the time of our meeting, I told them I can’t wait any longer. They told me the buyer doesn’t have enough money. We ‘postpone’ the closing of the deal.

I call my other security guy in the adjacent hotel and we leave together. A car followed us up to Eastern bypass where we stopped to relax in a hotel owned by a friend working with NIS. I called the lady who introduced me to them. She acted surprised.

My security friend told me to call them they lay a fresh dragnet. All their phones went off.

I don’t know what their end game was bt in the wake of this Barclays Bank saga, I’m asking myself, were they to give me fake dollars inside the bank? They were very confident they would pay me inside a bank. Are our banks accomplices to fraud? This is Kenya. Impossible is possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss