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Jared Otieno out on Sh1.5m bail in fake gold scam


Businessman Jared Otieno, who is facing fraud charges in Sh300 million in fake gold transaction has been released on Sh1.5 million cash bail.

The prosecution was not opposed to their release on bond but the defence team argued that the accused persons were of different social status.

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi had ordered a pre-bail report on Monday.

Mr Ricky Thomas Ochieng’ alias Tom Okoth and Juliet Kathambi Kithinji, who are students, were released on a cash bail of Sh300,000 while two foreigners Abouma Tamoua and Albert Likole Lokunda were ordered to deposit a Sh1 million in court each or a bond of similar amounts with one contact person.

DEPOSIT PASSPORTS

The accused were further ordered to deposit their passports in court and to be reporting the investigating officers once in every two weeks, failure to which their bond or bail will be cancelled.

Sixteen people among them businessman Jared Otieno were on Monday charged with obtaining Sh300 million from a Laos businessman, while pretending that they would sell him gold.

Mr Otieno, together with Mr Philip Nashon Aroko, Mr Robert Ouko Owiti and Mr Ochieng denied that on diverse dates between February 8 and February 25, 2019 at Kaputei Gardens, with intent to defraud, they obtained from Sounthorn Chanthavong, a director of Simoung Group Company US $ 3 million (about Sh300 million).

The court heard that they pretended that they were possessing genuine gold. The four, together with Peter Omondi, Michael Ochieng, Paul Otieno, Alice Nzisa, Joyce AKinyi and Julie Kathambi, as well as Seinim Boukar, Abuona Temoua and Albert Lokunda Lokole and four others, denied a charge of conspiracy to defraud.

FRAUDULENT TRICKS

It is alleged that using fraudulent tricks and displaying heavy metal boxes packed with genuine gold bars and an office trading as Nirone Safe Keeping, the suspects pretended to be carrying out genuine gold business.

They were further accused of counterfeiting Ghana customs authority stickers’ trademarks.

The court heard that between February 8 and 25, 2019 Mr Chanthavong, who deals in buying and selling of gold, was allegedly lured to house No.12 at Kaputei Gardens in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa area and lost US$3 million, after being duped that the items he bought were genuine gold.

Three weeks ago, the police raided the house allegedly owned by Mr Otieno and arrested 15 people in connection with the fraud.

According to the police, they recovered mobile phones, 28 steel boxes, several sledge hammer heads, seven desktop computers and gold-coated iron bars. The hearing of the case will start on July 2.