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Man accused of using forged vehicle logbook to acquire a Sh2 million loan

A city engineer who hired a high-end vehicle from a car dealer then allegedly colluded with other accomplices suspected to be officials of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to forge a logbook for the hired car before using it to obtain a loan is facing fraud charges.

Wycliffe Odhiambo Ouko is facing three charges including conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor contrary to section 394 as read with section 36 of the Penal Code.

In the charge, he is accused of colluding with others at large to obtain registration by pretences for motor vehicle registration number – KDD 148Z, a Toyota Prado on January 9, 2023.

Ouko allegedly made a motor vehicle registration certificate (logbook) for the hired car and the same was fraudulently entered into the NTSA computer systems.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) believes some rogue officers at the state agency must have participated in the exercise.

The suspect is facing an additional charge of obtaining registration by false pretenses in contravention of section 320 of the Penal Code where he is accused of willfully procuring logbook serial number N5764167C on January 25, 2023.

He is accused of committing the offence at the NTSA headquarters jointly with others not before the court after obtaining registration number KDD 148Z falsely pretending the same had been issued by the NTSA’s Directorate of Registration and Licensing knowing the same was false.

In the last count, Ouko is accused of obtaining credit by false pretenses in violation of section 316 of the Penal Code after allegedly using the forged logbook and car which had already been affixed with different registration particulars to obtain a loan of Sh2.1 million from Kentsewe Investment Limited.

He is accused of obtaining the loan on February 3, 2023, after presenting the hired car which was at the time bearing registration number KDD 148Z which was fraudulent.

Ouko hired a motor vehicle – KDH 055R a Toyota Prado from Goodwill Car Hire before he allegedly changed its registration to KDD 148Z which he presented to the lender together with the logbook as collateral while seeking the loan.

The financial institution’s officials made the usual search in the NTSA registration database and found that the vehicle’s owner was Ouko and installed a tracking device on it before giving him the loan.

After receiving the money, the new registration plates on the car bearing number KDD 148Z were removed and replaced with the genuine number – KDH 055R before it was returned to the owner and Ouko defaulted payment for the loan.

Kentsewe Limited contracted auctioneers to trace and recover the car using the tracking device and the device led the auctioneers to KDH 055R the matter was reported at the Central Police station in Nairobi before it was referred to DCI offices at NTSA headquarters.

After investigations, the DCI established that KDD 148Z was not a genuine motor vehicle and is believed to have been fraudulently introduced into the NTSA registration database system using details of another car, the one that Ouko had hired.

The DCI officers established that Ouko and his accomplices used unlawful methods to execute the registration utilizing unauthorized infiltration into the NTSA systems to effect the registration.

Ouko denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Caroline Mugo of Makadara Law Courts and sought lenient bail and bond terms through lawyer Peter Simiyu.

Simiyu said that the charges against his client read that he committed the crimes jointly with others at large and those at large could be the principal perpetrators of the crime.

However, Detective Constable Abdirizak Ali of DCI NTSA offices filed an affidavit to oppose bail and bond terms.

The detective told the court that Ouko changed the registration of four other vehicles in similar circumstances and obtained loans from different financial institutions and individuals who reported to the police and the matters are still under investigation.

Ali said there is a need to ascertain the real identity of the suspect with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) since he also uses another name – Robert Opiyo Odhiambo.

The detective added that Ouko has a similar pending matter – E167/2021 at the Thika law courts and sought the accused to be remanded pending the investigations including the processing of the suspect’s criminal data records, interrogation, and recording of statements of vital witnesses.

Also to be done is an identification parade for Ouko by multiple victims of fraud and witnesses.

But Simiyu opposed the application and said the investigations don’t require his client to be in police custody since the verification will be done by NRB and DCI and his client doesn’t work for any of the two institutions.

Ms Mugo remanded Ouko until November 3 when she will make a ruling over the matter.

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