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How Ugandan ‘car dealer’ conned lawyer and KDF officer

By Joseph Ndunda September 19th, 2023 3 min read

A Ugandan serial fraudster remanded in 2015 after he was charged with defrauding a city lawyer and a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer of money in fraudulent car deals will serve a six-month jail term after he admitted to three fraud charges he had denied.

Thomas Bazar Mayeku was handed the penalty by Senior Principal Magistrate Hellen Okwany of the Makadara Law Courts after pleading guilty to obtaining money by false pretenses.

In the first charge, he admitted defrauding lawyer Wiliam Kipkorir Arusei of Sh805,000 while falsely pretending he was in a position to buy him a Toyota Prado on diverse dates between September and October 2015, knowing the same was false.

In the second count, he is accused of defrauding KDF’s Ashil Mkindi Wachilu of Sh290,000 at the Town House along Kaunda Street in Nairobi on October 8, 2015, while falsely pretending he was in a position to buy him a Toyota Wish knowing the same was untrue.

He also admitted cheating contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code after using fraud to trick Mr Arusei into giving him his car – a Toyota Harrier valued at Sh1.6 million at the time.

Also read: Car dealer who detained client overnight charged with wrongful confinement

He defrauded the lawyer of the car at the Town House in Nairobi CBD on September 25, 2015.

Mayeku had hired Mr Arusei to represent him in cases after he was arrested by officers at the Kilimani police station for allegedly defrauding three people of money in similar deals where he told Mr Arusei that police officers had forced him to sign an agreement that he would refund the complainants of their cash. The convict would later defraud the lawyer.

In the deal, he was to take Mr Arusei’s car in exchange for a Toyota Prado worth Sh2.5 million, for which the lawyer would pay an additional Sh900,000 to complete the payment.

The Toyota Prado was to be delivered to the lawyer in November but was never delivered despite having made his payments. Mayeku continued giving Mr Arusei promises of delivering the vehicle and excuses for delaying the same until the lawyer discovered he had been conned.

Mr Arusei sent a message to Mayeku demanding that his Toyota Harrier be returned, but he never received it. The convict later switched off his phone and went underground.

Mr Wachilu had been introduced to Mr Mayeku by a friend who informed him that he was a car dealer.

The soldier was at the time looking for a car after his was damaged in an accident.

Also read: DCI probes fake Facebook car dealership after businessman loses Sh200,000

They arranged a meeting at a hotel in the city in which Mr Mayeku and his associates demanded that Mr Wachilu make a formal commitment by paying money, and the military man gave the convict the money.

Mayeku was to import a car for him at a cost of Sh650, 000 which he never received, and a refund of the Sh290,000 he had paid was never made.

He reported the matter to the police and the suspect was traced and arrested.

The convict was charged in December 2015, and he denied the charges and has been in remand.

After pleading guilty to the charges, Mr Mayeku urged Ms Okwany to consider the period he has been in custody as part of the sentence she would pass on him.

He also requested the magistrate to make an order for him to be escorted to the bank to withdraw money.

He also sought to release his passport to him, but Ms Okwany told him that her court had not detained the passport.

The prosecution informed the court that Mr Mayeku has more than five similar cases pending in courts in Nairobi, Ruiru and Mombasa, and therefore, he would not be set free.

Also read: Inside Nairobi’s luxury car theft syndicate: Women charged with fraud