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The Curious Case of Suspected Fraudster Odol Okombo Paul’s Missing Court Appearance

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Odol Okombo

Odol Okombo, a suspected fraudster who impersonated a high-ranking official at Kenha and reportedly scammed a female entrepreneur out of Sh 2.5M, did not show up in court as scheduled today

According to the chargesheet tabled in court, the accused person defrauded a businesswoman Sh 2.5M on September 27, 2023 at Palacina Hotel in Kilimani within Nairobi County after lying to her that he was in a position to help her land a road construction tender.

He failed to deliver the tender to her even after defrauding her the said amount on the ground that he knew to be false.When the matter was mentioned before Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Monica Maroro, the accused person was conspicuously missing and her lawyer told the court that he developed some breathing problems.” The accused person came in court and developed some breating problems, we pray that the matter be mentioned on Thursday for plea,” her lawyer told the court.

The court directed that the matter be pushed to Thursday.

Kenya Exposed allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news TIPS, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on: exposednews50@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook page.

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GENERAL

Scammed and Deceived: The Harsh Reality of Rogue Agencies in the Job Market

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Job
  • The Job Seeker’s Nightmare: The Hidden Dangers of Rogue Agencies

A visit by the National Assembly Committee on Diaspora Affairs and Migrant Workers to private employment agencies in Mombasa unveiled operations of rogue agencies defrauding Kenyans of their hard-earned cash under the guise of overseas job recruitment.

Chaired by Taita Taveta MP Lydia Haika, the committee uncovered disturbing practices at agencies like Al Hadhramy and Mahla, which has been in operation for 12 years.

Despite claiming to have facilitated the deployment of over 600 Kenyans abroad, the agency lacked essential office documentation, raising serious concerns.

Nestled inconspicuously along Makadara road near Barka Restaurant, the agency’s deceptive practices thrived in secrecy and trickery. From the busy Makadara road where traffic zooms past left and right, Al Hadhramy and Mahla’s faint signboard at the entrance easily goes unnoticed. It is almost impossible to imagine that this has been the silent gateway to the ruthless betrayal of hundreds of unsuspecting Kenyans in their quest to earn decent living.

A narrow steep plywood staircase leads to their suspicious looking offices upstairs. The visibly domineering Director Mutaila Masoud, shows up as her two workers are on standby clearly awaiting “further instructions” from the boss.

Masoud failed to produce any operational documents, and their business permit expired in 2020.

“Our guy in charge of records is in the field but we can print the files,” Director said, while instructing a worker to “locate the documents.”

Clock ticked and the wait got longer but the documents were nowhere to be seen. The staff, tasked with locating the files, quietly slipped away, adding to the agency’s suspicious behaviour.

Masoud, when pressed, admitted to occasional legal violations, including deploying workers with visit visas instead of work permits, a risky practice she attributed to the decline in UAE job orders post-Covid pandemic. It was such deceit that appeared to have angered the legislators who left in a huff.

Al Hadhramy and Mahla is reportedly involved in a con scheme where the director is said to have collected close to Sh20 million from over 300 Kenyans and left them stranded. Through availed evidence in form of receipts, OB numbers and video recordings, the committee learnt that some 387 young men and women who were desperately keen to travel and work abroad hoping were left in the dark after paying Sh50,000 each to the agency.

A total of Sh19,350,000 went down the drain in the said scam, according to Omar Said, one of a victim. “I was planning to go to Qatar for a security job by August last year. Having paid the Sh50,000 deposit, I was anxious to leave the country. They then told us that there was a slight problem with the Embassy and we ought to be patient…We understood like human beings. August, September and October were over. It was the same story and we continued being patient… Come November we started our own process. Initially they had placed us in the admins only AhatsApp group and we could not  comment and our voices could not also be heard. So, we formed our own group to forge the way forward,” Omar said.

That November, he recalls the agency called them for “an interview” in what would turn out to be a hoax meant to calm down their nerves.

But the wait would get even longer and drag all the way to January, 2024 where the director began ranting, telling “those who are impatient” to immediately withdraw.

“She said those who will withdraw will be deducted Sh35,000 each and refunded Sh15,000…we were shocked because we had no problem. It was the agency which had problems since it had failed to confirm our travel…we tried to seek assistance through police but we are yet to succeed,” teary Omar said.

He added: “We need the government to intervene. We have cracked our backs for the money. We have borrowed loans and sold our land parcels just to get the money hoping to get the job and now someone is defrauding us. If I pick a machete and begin stealing from people what will the government say?”

Another victim

Aisha Rashid Mohamed, another victim, blamed Masoud for wasting young people through a choreographed con game and asked the government to intervene and help them recover their money and documents from the agency.

“She seems to enjoy some protection because she does not want to listen to us. Even if you go there in the company of police nothing will happen because she will also call police who are loyal to her and it will be chaotic. We have waited for seven months to no avail,” Aisha said.

Masoud had told the committee that the agency has been recruiting Kenyans to work mostly in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“After the pandemic, business took a nose dive and there were no more orders from UAE which had also cancelled all their sub agents. Now the UAE doesn’t issue working visas anymore,” Masoud told the committee. She did not shy away from revealing some of her dirty tricks and admitted to have occasionally violated the law and deployed workers to the Middle East with “visit visa as opposed to working visa.”

“Sometimes we are forced to deploy workers with a visit visa hoping it can later be altered into a work permit…which is a very big risk. This is partly why the UAE market has declined because nobody is willing to take that big risk,” she told the committee.

While citing Government bureaucracy and delays in accessing crucial documentation to facilitate travel clearance as some of the key setbacks that have continued to bog-down operations of the agencies, Masoud openly admitted that she often pays bribes to get passports and police clearance for her candidates.

For instance, she said: “If I have a client and maybe they do not have a passport. For the client to attain a passport it might take even more than three months, unless it somebody with detailed connection to help them fast track the process. Also, the Certificate of Good Conduct nowadays expires after six months even though you don’t get it in time.”

Another agency, Attawakul Limited, was found in a similar state, with its director, Yussuf Ibrahim, unable to produce staff files or contracts, underscoring the secrecy surrounding these operations.

In contrast, Al-Shifaa, led by Director Mwalimu Mwaguzo, presented all necessary records, highlighting proper operational procedures. According to Haika, the committee aims to address challenges facing migrant workers.

However, she expressed frustration at the lack of accountability and professionalism among some agencies, referring to them as “mere briefcase agencies.”

Over the weekend, National Employment Authority (NEA) Director General Joseph Njue came under fire for accrediting rogue agencies, with MPs urging the authority to take action against them.

Despite some MPs defending the agencies, calling for better policies to support them, concerns remain over the exploitation of Kenyan workers abroad.

Better policies

Njoro MP Charity Kathambi questioned NEA’s seriousness on the matter, saying the authority was doing injustice to Kenyans who are suffering abroad.

Kenya Exposed allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news TIPS, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on: exposednews50@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook page.

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EXPOSED; Trade Assistant Minister Zaddock Syongoh son, Musaari Kahiga Syongoh , his friend Alivin Nzomo Muthami linked to deaths threats, Extortion’s spree, Man boasts of hacking news sites

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Zaddock Syongoh

After massive investigations of site checking and the waves of suspicious activities, it has now emerged that, Kenyanmiror.co.ke was tempered with by some individuals whom have been identified and hacked a story in which Trade Assistant Minister Zaddock Syongoh’s son, Musaari Kahiga Syongoh and his friend Alivin Nzomo Muthami were detained and linked to a Sh50M attempted extortion sprees.

” We have now the details of how this suspects got into our sites and tempered with the above mentioned story, I apologise to our readers and affirm to them that we remain the most reliable, courageous and all round news channel, its our duty to feed you with reliable informations from accross the country,” Said Jacob Muganda, the company director.

He added that the matter is now under proble and it has been reported to the investigators.

” Yes We have reported the matter, served the investigators with all the details including the wassap chats and other details to ascertain the same, we expect action to be taken in coming days,” he added

In the case, ab Nairobi court has allowed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) request to continue to detain a son of a former assistant minister and an activist for three days for allegedly threatening to kill a city businessman over undisclosed reasons.

The story was written carefully and we have court papers to ascertain our claim.

In the the former Zaddock Syongoh son’s , Musaari Kahiga Syongoh and his activist friend Alivin Nzomo Muthami were detained at Parklands police station until Friday to enable the DCI complete investigations into allegations of threatening to kill and extortion.

The appearing in court had stated that in a bid to silence the businessman Chetan Babu alias CJ from being exposed over alleged criminal activities, the two suspects demanded Sh50 million.

In a brief ruling, Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi allowed the DCI’s plea to have the duo remain in custody for three days since they face serious allegations of threatening to kill the complainant.

The DCI boss through Corporal Nyangige Mathias had sought for more time to continue holding the suspects to complete investigations which he terms as complex.

It is said that among the other suspects the police are pursuing is a senior KRA official linked to the extortion allegations.

The court heard that the suspects extorted on diverse dates between January 1 and May 10, 2023 where the complainant Chetan has been receiving threatening messages from an Airtel number unknown to him stating that if he does not comply with the demands, they would expose his alleged corruption deals.

“This led to the complainant giving out Sh50 million to the two suspects for fear of his life, “ Nyangige told the court.

He added that once the complainant parted with the cash, he immediately reported the matter at Parklands police station on May 11, 2023.

The officer urged the court not to release the accused on bail or bond as the suspects had threatened to eliminate the complainant as they shared all his information to other suspects who are being sought by police. “It was established that since the complainant reported the matter to the police, the suspects and others still at large had plans to eliminate Chetan to the extent of sharing his confidential documents namely passport through Whatsapp,” Nyangige stated.

The officer also revealed that during the arrest at the weekend at their Karen residence, Kahiga caused chaos by resisting arrest before he was eventually subdued.

Upon arrest, Kahiga was escorted to Karen police station and on conducting a body search, the officers recovered five rolls of cannabis sativa (bhang) from his left trouser pocket.

The DPP through State Counsel James Gachoka supported the DCI’s application and urged the court to detain Kahiga and Muthami to enable police complete investigations into the attempted extortion by threats allegations.

“I urge this court to detain the suspects at Parklands police station to enable police to conclude investigations into the matter,” said Prosecutor Gachoka.

He told the magistrate that the two suspects are flight risks and are being investigated for serious crimes.

“Owing to the gravity of the charges facing the suspects herein and the fact they pose a flight risk releasing them will interfere with the ongoing investigations. Allow police to detain them,” he said.

Gachoka told the court that ongoing investigations involve recovery of apparatus used to commit the offence including the Sh50 million and the Airtel numbers which the suspects used to send the threatening messages.

Kenya Exposed allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news TIPS, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on: exposednews50@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook page.

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Reprieve For Co-Op Bank CEO In Land Feud With Squatters

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Co-Op Bank

Gidjoy Investment Limited, a firm associates with Co-Op Bank Chief Executive Officer Gideon Miriuki and his wife, has found a reproved in court after the state prosecution was allowed to table pictorial evidence of damaged Donholm land.

This is after the first witness, Dickson Kitoi, was stood down after it emerged that the exhibit photos in the prosecution’s file did not march what the defence team had.

Kitoi is a supervisor at the Gidjoy Investment Ltd’s farm, which the suspects allegedly invaded.

Members of Sowesava self-help group who had been previously charged with malicious damage to property for demolishing a perimeter fence around Greenspan Estate situated in Donholm belonging to Gidjoy Investments Limited.

In the case, Benita Alando, Peter Keya, Davis Mutuku, Titus Ochieng, Boniface Oduor, Calvince Ochieng, Patrobas Awino, Nick Omondi, and Philemon Otieno are accused of malicious damage.

The prosecution claims that the suspects allegedly damaged the property’s wall on March 27, 2018.

The value of the wall is estimated at Sh144, 000.

At the same time, they face another count of forcible entry into Gidjoy’s property.

The 10 accused persons are tied up to another criminal case surrounding the ownership of the land.

In the other case, former Kayole chief, Alexander Hoops, Patrobas Awino, Peter Gitau, and Peter Njoroge were 2021 charged with five counts of forgery and land fraud

They were accused of attempting to defraud Gidjoy Investments by allegedly forging documents to show they owned a parcel of land.

“On unknown date and place within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before court, with intent to defraud MS Gidjoy Investments Limited land parcel formerly Nairobi/Block 82/7333 now part of amalgamation of parcels Nairobi/Block 82/7813 to Nairobi /Block 82/7856 measuring 11.8 acres situated at Donholm area valued at Sh944 million,” the charge sheet read in part.

They were also accused of forging a title deed and claiming that it was signed by Rosemary Onyango, a land registrar, and forging an allotment letter of the land alleging to be signed by one P Amiani, a land registration officer.

The two criminal cases are a culmination of a series of court battles over the same land.

In 2019, Hoops alongside others filed a constitutional case against the Attorney General, and then Sowesa Self-help Group filed another case against National Lands Commission and Gidjoy. Meanwhile, Gidjoy filed a case against Zero Point Construction and 69 others and another suit against NLC.

In the cases before the Lands Court, Hoops asked the court to block the police from interfering with their possession of the property. At the same time, they asked Justice Eric Obaga to allow them ‘access their homes.’

They claimed that they were allotted the property in 1998.

In reply, Gidjoy told the court that Hoops and his team were relying on forged documents to claim ownership but the process was reversed after the Ministry discovered that their papers were not genuine.

However, Justice Obaga dismissed the application by Hoops after finding that another judge, Justice Samson Okong’o had raised serious doubts about the authenticity of Sowesa’s allotment documents.

“There are photographs which are annexed to the affidavit of Sergent Wilson Tenai. They show that the property in issue is vacant. There are no buildings and it is therefore clear that the applicants (Hoops, Mugambi, Owino) are not being honest when they claim that they have put up houses on the suit properties which they want access to,” ruled Justice Obaga.

In the case against NLC, the Gidjoy operations manager explained that it bought the land from Continental Developers Limited.

He told the court that armed gangs had invaded the same on behalf of a self-help group and had subdivided the land to themselves.

However, Sowesava officials maintained that Continental Limited surrendered the parcel of land to the Nairobi County government, upon which they (Sowesava) were then issued with an allotment letter and title deed.

The self help group then went ahead to subdivide the parcel into 100 portions which they were in the process of selling to unsuspecting members of the public.

Since the dispute began, seven high court judges have arbitrated the case pointing at its complexity.

Kenya Exposed allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news TIPS, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on: exposednews50@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook page.

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