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How senior police officer was defrauded of Sh24.3 million

A businessman has been charged with defrauding a senior Administrative Police Service (APS) officer of Sh24.3 million while pretending to sell him four items worth Sh128 million for Sh36 million.

Mr Ray Ochieng Otieno was accused of obtaining Sh24,364,000 from Abdirahaman Ali Dima on various dates between December 17, 2021 and January 4, 2023, while falsely pretending to be able to sell him a “rupee”, a stove, a beacon and an iron box, knowing the same to be false.

He is also accused of defrauding Mr Dima’s friend Ibrahim Isaack Musa of Sh7,136,000 during the same period under similar circumstances.

Mr Otieno is accused of conspiring with an accomplice charged in February and others at large to obtain the money from Mr Dima and Mr Musa totalling Sh31.5 million contrary to Section 313 of the Penal Code.

The two complainants were duped into believing they could make a profit of more than Sh128 million from the deal after selling the four items and buying them from Mr Otieno and his accomplices.

Mr Dima, a police commissioner, was approached in December 2021 by a person he knew when he was in charge of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) in Central Region.

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The person, who is one of the suspects at large, claimed to be selling the “rupee”, stove, beacon and iron box for Sh36 million and told Mr Dima that the four items, all allegedly from Germany, could fetch him Sh128 million if sold to traders.

Mr Dima agreed to meet the suspect at Mai Mahiu in Nakuru County, but the suspect arranged for him to be accompanied by three people.

One of them was a supposed expert who was to confirm to Mr Dima that the items he was to buy were original. The three men are also among the suspects in the case who are still at large.

On arrival, Mr Dima was told that the rupee and the beacon were worth Sh2 million and he paid Sh700,000 in cash while the three other men who accompanied him each presented an envelope purporting to contain Sh500,000.

One of them took the two items to store them at Karen in Nairobi while they waited for the supposed foreign dealer to buy them.

They were to pay the suspect a storage fee of Sh3.1 million to keep the items in Karen while they sought a lawyer to facilitate the sale of the items to a dealer.

Mr Dima later received a call from one of the suspects asking him to meet them at a hotel along the Thika Superhighway.

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He met them accompanied by Mr Otieno, the expert who confirmed that the items were genuine and in high demand, and a foreigner who was the alleged dealer interested in buying the items.

Two of the suspects told Mr Dima that they had spoken to the owner of the items in Mai Mahiu and that he had asked for Sh3.7 million to release them. Mr Dima raised the Sh3.7 million and together they travelled to Mai Mahiu where they met the man identified as Maasai.

Two of the suspects told Mr Dima that they had spoken to the owner of the items in Mai Mahiu and he had asked for Sh3.7 million to release them. Mr Dima raised the Sh3.7 million and they travelled together to Mai Mahiu where they met the man identified as Maasai.

They later told Mr Dima that Sh10 million was needed for the dealer to accept the purchase of the items and Mr Dima involved his friend, Mr Musa, who brought another Sh3 million.

The suspects continued to get different amounts of money from the two complainants until they ran out of money in January this year after they had collectively been fleeced of Sh31.5 million.

The suspected fraudsters stopped taking calls from Mr Dima and his friend Mr Musa when they realised they had run out of money.

The two complainants reported the matter to Buruburu Police Station on January 8, 2023 and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) took over the investigation.

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One of Mr Otieno’s accomplices, Abdoul Said Homoud, who is a foreigner, was located and arrested. He was arraigned at the Makadara Magistrate’s Court on 2 February and released on Sh15 million bail with two Kenyan sureties in the same amount after denying the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Mary Njagi.

Mr Otieno was located and arrested in Buruburu on May 6. He denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia.

Detective Corporal Josphat Wafula made an application against the suspect’s bail.

The detective said Mr Otieno had been shuttling between Nairobi and Kajiando counties to evade arrest after learning that his accomplice had been arrested and charged.

Mr Wafula asked Kyambia to remand Mr Otieno in custody until the case is heard and concluded. But Mr Otieno, through his lawyer, opposed the application and sought a lenient bail and surety conditions.

He argued that he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty and that the court should not be swayed by the huge sums of money mentioned in the charges.

The lawyer also sought orders for the release of a car and two mobile phones confiscated from Mr Otieno by the detectives who arrested him, but Cpl Wafula refused, saying they were proceeds of crime. Mr Kyambia will rule on the bail application on May 18. The suspect remains in custody.