West African accused of defrauding Senator Danson Mungatana placed on defence
A West African witch doctor who allegedly conned Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana a whopping Ksh76 million in fake petroleum oil business has been put on his defense by a magistrate sitting at Milimani law courts.
Abdoulaye Tamba Kouro, a Chad National, will begin to defend himself on September 21, 2023, before senior resident magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi.
Kouro whom State prosecutor Virginia Kariuki urged the court to place on his defense, said she has presented tangible evidence linking him to the offense.
“I have presented tangible evidence to warrant the accused to be put on his defense,” Ms Kariuki submitted.
The trial court concurred with Ms Kariuki that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against Chad national which warrants it (court) to place him on his defence.
The prosecutor had earlier successfully argued an application to have the bond granted to Kouro cancelled after he skipped court attendance several times.
The accused is currently detained at the Industrial Area Prison and will be produced in court on September 21, 2023 to proceed with his defence.
Kouro who is being defended by a city lawyer Stanley Kang’ahi sought time to file a written defence adding that “the suspect is unwell.”
Mr Ekhubi adjourned the defence hearing to September 21, 2023.
Kouro is charged with obtaining fraudulently Sh76 million from Mungatana on diverse dates between April 20, 2011, and April 29, 2013, in Hurlingham, Nairobi.
He allegedly defrauded Mungatana the colossal sum pretending that he was in a position to invest the money in the oil industry.
Besides Muungatana Kouro is also alleged to have defrauded, Makau Muteke $6796 (Ksh700,000) through the pretext he was to invest it in business on March 9, 2017.
Kouro also faces another count of being in possession of assorted fake currencies totaling to Sh960,120,000.
The fake currencies that police recovered from Kouro at his Sandalwood Apartment, along Brookside Drive Westlands Nairobi are fake $54,000, 19,000 Euros (in 100 notes), and 3,400 Euros in 500.
When he testified before Mr Ekhubi on October 6, 2022, Mungatana gave a blow-to-blow account, of how the traditional healer promised to double his money.
Mungatana remembered how Kouro, who was introduced to him by a friend, had asked him for an initial investment of Ksh500,000, which he doubled as promised.
Mungatana said he gave a second investment of Sh5 million which he said yielded Sh10 million after six months.
“He called me personally, a few months later, and told me not to bring small monies. I gave him one million US dollars. At the time, the exchange rate was 76,” Mungatana informed the court.
“I was very happy when I was told there was another opportunity to invest Sh5 million. I looked for money from friends and relatives including my brothers. Kouro had said I would be paid double the amount. After six months, he, true to his words, gave me back Ksh10 million and all these transactions were in cash. I never suspected that it would go wrong because the accused inspires you with confidence. When you go to his place you will see many vehicles,” the politician told court.
Added he, “I sold my property and shares. I borrowed money from friends and relatives. There were cars in my late wife’s name. I took short-term loans over the log books.”
Muungatana said, Kouro, switched his phone off and vanished shortly after receiving the money, putting Mungatana’s children’s education and the wellbeing of his family in jeopardy.
“My wife died later and throughout we had problems in the house because she believed I was misusing the money, ” Mungatana added.
The senator said he trusted Kouro because their previous dealings had inspired him with confidence.
“Your honour, this man has a big vehicle, a well-furnished apartment, and many servants, who treat him like a king,” he said.
Kouro is charged with forgery and unlawful possession of forged currency notes valued at approximately Ksh9.6 million.
Mungatana asked the magistrate to impose a severe jail term against the accused person saying he is aware of other prominent people who fell victims but they have refused to come out for fear of their reputation.
“For me, it was an investment scam because I come from Tana River. I learnt a lesson. I learnt that Nairobi is hard. This man here needs to be convicted,” Mungatana urged as he rested his testimony.
Kouro was arrested by the defunct DCI’s Flying Squad officers on October 1, 2018, at Sandalwood Apartments in Brookside Drive, Westlands, with fake currency consisting of $54000 in denominations of 100, €19,000 in denominations of 100, and €3400 in denominations of 500.
The Investigating officer in the case, Henry Maitai, presented the currency notes in court as exhibits.
The case was adjourned to September 21, 2023.