How car buyer lost Sh50k in auction that never was

On April 3, 2019 Mr Martin Wanjohi Mwai came across an advertisement by Rising Sun Auctioneers – that it was planning to auction a Toyota Belta car registration number KBW 770E.

In the advert, there were three instructions that were issued and anyone willing to participate in the auction was required to follow.

First, all interested bidders were requested to view and verify all the details of the car before purchase.

Secondly, all bidders were to pay Sh50,000 deposit which was to be paid in cash.

The third rule, which complicated matters for Mwai, was that the purchaser must deposit 25 percent of the purchase price at the fall of the hammer and balance to be paid by close of business the same day, failure to which the money received, including deposit, would be forfeited.

Mr Mwai said that when he went to Excellence and Interginfy Service, where the auction was to take place, it turned out that he was the only one who was willing to purchase the car.

CASH PAYMENT

By 2pm the same day, it was only him and the auctioneer, Ms Lonny Wambui, who were on the site.

“I was told the car’s selling price was Sh430,000 and asked to pay Sh50,000 as deposit. I was further instructed to pay the balance of Sh380,000 in an in account number 784/250011 Rose Wood capital Limited in the Commercial Bank of Africa,” Mwai’s petition to the Auctioneers Licensing Board reads in part.

Mr Mwai said that a few hours after he paid Sh50,000 in cash, Ms Wambui sent him a message informing him that someone else had paid the whole amount and that the car was taken.

He then demanded for his money but he was informed that it had been forfeited for failure to pay for the car, yet no public auction took place nor any notification given to him.

FALSE PRETENSE

“I read mischief because there was no other bidder who had shown interest in purchasing the car so who is the other buyer who bought it?” posed Mr Mwai.

He reported the matter at Kiambu Police Station under the OB number: 40/06/04/2019.

Through his lawyers, Njoroge Mwaura and Company, Mwai has accused the company of “obtaining money from him by false pretense.”

“We do hereby demand Sh50,000 together with our collection fee of Sh5,000 to be paid in total,” reads part of a letter by the company.

However, the company through Gatumuta and Company Advocates said that Mr Mwai was the highest bidder but he failed to pay the deposit of 25 percent at the fall of the hammer and that he never met the given conditions.

“Our client owes no money to your client and no criminal element is involved and your client’s allegation to obtain by false pretense does not exist,” reads their letter in part.

Nyaboga Kiage, Nairobi News

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