Nairobi man accused of defrauding French national Sh 12 billion granted bail

Edwin Ochieng before Kibera Magistrates Court where he was released on a Sh 500,000 cash bail. PHOTO/Sam Alfan

A man detained for allegedly defrauding a French national Sh 12 billion in a precious stones sale deal has been released on bail.

Kibera Law courts magistrate released Edwin Ochieng’ on a Sh 500,000 cash bail pending the conclusion of investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Ochieng’ was arrested on 16th August 2023 at Brookside Groove in Nairobi over suspicion of defrauding  William Tuil USD 89 million (apprx. Sh 12 billion).

According to the police, Ochieng’ has been posing as a businessman dealing in Colton minerals from the Republic of Gabon.

After his arrest, the DCI moved to court seeking to detain him for seven days to allow them to complete investigations.

“The court be pleased to issue custodial orders against the respondent herein to be detained for seven days (7) days at Kilimani Police Station to allow Police Inspector Nicholas Njoroge attached at DCI Headquarters Operations Support Unit, complete investigations into a case of conspiracy to commit felony contrary to section 393 of the penal code,” investigating officer submitted.

The investigating officer said the offence was committed on diverse dates between 22 July 2022 and 25th August 2023, jointly with others still at large.

It is alleged that the suspect informed the French national that he was in a position to facilitate the transfer of the money from Gabon to Rwanda.

The court heard that the suspect received some of the money through bank accounts which the investigating officer is yet to trace for the purpose of obtaining financial transactions.

According to court documents, a total of 950 kilograms of Colton minerals was allegedly flown from Gabon to Qatar where it was later said to have been sold for USD 89,000,000.

The complainant claims to have withdrawn the money in Dubai which was then packed in boxes destined for Kigali in Rwanda but the said money never reached Rwanda.

Later, he was allegedly informed by Ochieng’ that his consignment of money had been detained at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi pending clearance by the Kenyan authorities.

At this point, Ochieng’ is said to have asked Tuil for USD 48,500 being money for Insurance, storage and for hiring a private jet for the consignment.

According to court documents, the complainant made his way to Rwanda to wait for his consignment but it never arrived. He flew back to Kenya where Edwin demanded a further  USD 500,000 which the complaint was unable to raise.

Realising he had been duped, Tuil made a report and Ochieng’ was apprehended. Upon arrest, he was escorted to his office at Brookside Groove-house number 13 where upon search, seventeen boxes alleged to contain money were found in two rooms of the house. 

However, the investigator told the court that upon opening the boxes, they were found to be stuffed with stones, gravel and pieces of tiles. This was allegedly meant to lure and defraud the complainant of his money