A 32-year-old businesswoman in Embakasi, Nairobi County, is out of pocket by Sh140,000 due to a weight loss scam.
Judith Mawia Munyoki shared her harrowing experience with Senior Principal Magistrate Hellen Okwany at the Makadara Law Courts.
The saga started when Munyoki confided in her friend Susan Francis about her weight loss challenges.
Susan assured her there was a straightforward solution, citing examples like the renowned gastric procedure, slimming tea, and other weight loss methods.
Francis introduced Munyoki to a purported doctor she claimed could assist, with the condition that Munyoki paid the necessary fee in advance.
Munyoki, unaware of any deceit, proceeded to send the Sh140,000 in three separate payments over six days.
On the appointed day, Francis guided Munyoki to a guest house in Rongai, where she met two individuals: Mwangi Waweru, who identified himself as a doctor, and another unidentified person.
Shortly thereafter, Waweru instructed Munyoki to recline on the bed for the administration of GLP-1 liraglutide (Saxenda).
A prescription guide from their website suggests that the medication helps adults dealing with excessive weight and weight-related health issues in shedding pounds and maintaining a healthier weight.
A flicker of doubt crept into Munyoki’s mind when she raised concerns about the procedure taking place in a hotel room rather than a hospital.
Cunningly, the ‘doctor’ explained that the hospital’s rooms were fully occupied, and the procedure necessitated absolute privacy.
The court heard that following a brief tummy cleansing with methylated spirit and a short massage, Waweru, Francis, and the third individual left claiming they were going to fetch the drug.
Over three hours later, Munyoki came to the painful realization that she had fallen victim to a scam.
In a state of panic, she promptly headed to Embakasi Police Station to report the incident.
Authorities successfully located and apprehended Susan Francis and the ‘doctor’ Mwangi Waweru.
At the Makadara Law Courts, the suspects pleaded not guilty to charges of obtaining money through fraudulent means.
They appealed for lenient bail, claiming that they were just hawkers. They were granted release on a cash bail of Sh70,000 each.
The case is scheduled for a preliminary mention on November 16, with the full hearing set to commence on March 27, 2024.