A Kirinyaga couple conned of Sh19.2 million in a money-multiplication scam has finally got justice after the three fraudsters were convicted.
Alexander Miriti Mugambi, Cyrus Mwaura Kamau and Margaret Muthoni defrauded Mr Moses Gitari Kirango and his wife Mary Wambui Njagi of the cash they had received from the National Irrigation Board as compensation for their land acquired for a dam project.
In January 2013, Muthoni lured Ms Wambui, who is her cousin, and her husband into the fraudsters’ net, saying they could increase their cash to Sh56.1 million at a cost of Sh1.2 million, only for the couple to lose the entire amount.
The sad saga began when Ms Wambui approached Muthoni for a Sh90,000 loan to take her daughter to university.
She was introduced to the con men, who claimed they were in contact with an official at currency maker De La Rue who would get them moneymaking chemicals and papers.
Ms Wambui informed her husband, who later met Muthoni.
Muthoni told Mr Gitari that she had a friend, a police officer, working at De La Rue, only identified as George.
Muthoni then contacted George, who asked for Sh400,000. Mr Gitari withdrew the money and gave it to Muthoni to take it to “officer”.
But he refused to take the money, saying the chemicals available were worth Sh1.2 million.
Two days later, Mr Gitari withdrew Sh800,000 from Equity Bank’s Kerugoya and handed it over to Muthoni.
They later went to De La Rue, picked up the chemicals, and proceeded to the “policeman’s” house to make money.
After making Sh10,000 Mr Gitari was told that the chemical had been contaminated and asked to withdraw a further Sh400,000 to buy more chemicals.
He withdrew the money and gave it to the “policeman”.
That night, they made Sh800,000.
George and his friend asked for Sh100,000 as service fee. Mr Gitari paid them and took the remaining Sh700,000 to the bank and it was accepted.
He was then asked to provide more money so as to make more profits. He withdrew Sh3 million and gave the amount to Muthoni, the “policeman” and his friend.
This went on until the couple was conned of all their money. In her defence, Muthoni insinuated that there was a deep-rooted dispute between her family and that of Ms Wambui’s, hence the complaint.
But chief magistrate Heston Nyaga would hear none of it: “The intention to defraud was clearly proven and that it was that the accused persons would double the complainant’s money. This amounts to defrauding because only the government has the legal tender to process money,” ruled.
BY JOSEPH NDUNDA