Ms Makacha Kashendi had been looking for Abiud Esonga Mulwale for over a year without success.
When she eventually found him in the dock in a Kiambu court last week, she was relieved.
Here, she thought, was a chance to get back the Sh1.3 million that she claims she had given Abiud back in 2015 in the expectation that he would sell her a car.
According to her, Abiud took the money and that was the last time she saw him.
Makacha is an events organiser and she first met Abiud when she contracted him to print banners for an event that had brought together business people involved in import and export trade between Kenya and Germany.
When he saw her car, he mentioned that she ought to upgrade it. He even offered to ensure that she got a new car that would be perfect for her. He even showed her the models he claimed were available.
The suspect asked her to deposit $7,500 (Sh760,000) and a further Sh526,000 for duty and clearing and forwarding, which she did.
The car was to arrive on June 21, 2015, but that never happened. Instead, he begun giving tall tales, prompting her to report the matter at Industrial Area Police Station.
According to Makacha, police told her they were unable to trace Abiud, but on August 2015, she tricked him and, together with her son, took him to the police station where he was freed on a Sh20,000 police bond.
WARRANT OF ARREST
Later, with the help of DCI officers, he was rearrested, charged at a Milimani court and released on a Sh70,000 cash bail.
However, he never showed up for hearings and Makacha has been moving around with a warrant for his arrest. Last week, to her dismay, Makacha heard an officer from Gigiri Police Station asking the magistrate to release Abiud on bond. She could hardly believe her ears.
She desperately raised her hand to catch the attention of Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Atambo. It was important for Makacha that Abiud remained behind bars. However, little did she know that court procedures could not allow her to have her way.
On that day in Kiambu, Abiud was in the dock for fraud.
He had been accused of defrauding Ms Rose Mwende of Sh2.8 million in 2016.
According to court documents, he had pretended that he was in a position to help Rose import a car from Japan.
Makacha did not know it then but inside the courtroom were two more people who also claimed that Abiud had defrauded them.
Whereas Makacha had come with a court order for Abiud’s arrest and a policeman from Industrial Area to effect it, the other two had come with officers from Kiambu and Central Police stations.
Makacha could not understand why the officer from Gigiri was asking a court to free the suspect yet he was wanted in connection with similar allegations elsewhere.
She later learnt that Abiud had acknowledged defrauding Rose and was willing to pay back her money in 10 days. In fact, he had already paid back Sh250,000.
As soon as Abiud was freed, he was dramatically rearrested and driven to Central Police Station. But that did not bother him. He was laughing even as the police car sped off with him.
Rose later told the Saturday Nation that she got Abiud’s contacts through the internet on February 2016 when she was searching for a branding company.
She reached him and though they never did the initial business, they kept in touch. A few months later, he informed her that he also imported vehicles for sale.
At that point, Rose was not interested in buying a car but in October, he gave her an offer that was too good to resist.
They struck a deal and the suspect instructed her to deposit $13,500 in an account with a car importing firm.
She also paid Sh749,000 for duty and a further Sh200,000 for clearing and forwarding, part of which was paid via a paybill number connected to the bank where Abiud’s wife works.
However, the car that Abiud had promised her was never delivered. When she sought explanations from both the suspect and the clearing and forwarding firm, she did not get a satisfactory explanation.
Later, the suspect told her that he had contracted another firm to deliver a different car, but asked her to add another Sh200,000 because the car was more expensive. She paid but still the car was never delivered, prompting her to report the matter to various police stations.
After failing to get help from the police, she visited car importing firm for inquiries, and that was when she learnt that the $13,500 she had deposited was reflected in the system and that the suspect had reserved a car under her name. However, once she had paid Abiud, he cancelled the reservation.
Another complainant, Nafula Wanyonyi, said she lost Sh368,000 to Abiud whom she met in 2013.
She sold mobile phones and he was a regular customer. He told her his main business was branding but that he also imported cars.
Over time, he convinced her to import one but after she deposited the money, he disappeared. The next time she saw him, he was in a Kiambu court.
Not far from where Nafula was seated in court was Rosemary Oyoo, who claims she lost Sh600,000 on August 2013, the same year he convinced Njoki Njeru to lend him Sh200,000 to boost his business.
Oyoo said she lost all her money but Njoki was lucky to get Sh100,000 back. She is still waiting for the rest.