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Mastermind of $4 billion ‘shipment deal’ charged with attempted fraud

The suspected mastermind of a $4 billion (about Sh608 billion) attempted fraud deal has been charged in court.

In a related development, eight others who are reported to have been recruited into the mega scam were released on bond after staying in custody for seven days.

Mr Isaiah Aluodo Belek was charged before Milimani senior principal magistrate Martha Nanzushi with conspiring to defraud Omid Kharkhaneh of USD ($) 36,000 (KSh5.4m) through the pretext that he was in a position to transport the businessman’s USD ($) 4 billion from Nairobi to Dubai.

Mr Belek denied that on diverse dates between October 23 and November 15, 2023, at Viraj godown in Embakasi sub-county within Nairobi county jointly with others already before court conspired to defraud Mr Kharkhane USD 36,000 by pretending that he was in a position to facilitate the transportation of USD ($) 4 billion from Nairobi to Dubai.

Mr Belek who faced one count applied to be freed on bond saying “the offence against me is available”.

The magistrate was urged not to be swayed by the amounts quoted in the charge as “no money was lost.”

The prosecution did not oppose Mr Belek’s plea to bail.

The prosecutor however informed the court the case against Mr Belek will be consolidated with another where eight suspects were charged last week.

Ms Nanzushi heard the eight suspects will be produced before the court for bail determination.

The eight who were charged before another senior principal magistrate Mr Ms Wandia Nyamu are Peter Kisanya Modaya, Noah Othiambo Ouma, Peter Mikisi Aura, Kayombo Jean Karenga, Brian Waweru Njoroge, Moses Otieno Oduor, Mercy Cheptoo and Charity Njeri Gachuhi.

They faced three counts of conspiracy to defraud and being in possession of fake money.

Now Belek , Modaya, Ouma, Aura, Karenga, Njoroge, Oduor, Cheptoo, and Gachuhi face a common charge of conspiracy to defraud Mr Kharkhaneh Sh 5,472,000 by pretending that they were in a position to facilitate transportation of USD ($)4bn (KSh 608,000,000,000) from Kenya to Dubai.

Further, the accused persons are charged with unlawfully being in possession of 13,800 forged USD currency notes in the 100 denomination bearing fake serial numbers.

The accused are also charged with having three (3) Military boots, two (2) Jungle Green Trousers, two military jackets, and two Angola shorts resembling the Administration Police Service Uniform without any written authority from the Inspector General of Police.

The officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested the eight suspects on November 16, 2023, in Nairobi.

They were charged the following day.

It was alleged at the time that the accused persons were aiming to defraud two foreigners USD 439 Trillion while in transit.

Defence lawyer Mukuna Esuchi urged the court to consolidate the two matters where the bond terms ruling is expected to be determined by the trial court.​

In her ruling, Ms Nyamu ordered the eight suspects to deposit a bond of Sh500,000 while a foreign national Mr Kayombo was ordered to avail two sureties before he could be released from custody.

Ms Nyamu ordered the case to be mentioned on December 4, 2023, for pre-trial directions.

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