A trip by Senator Moses Wetang’ula to Dubai last September has come back to haunt him as it emerges that he is among individuals to be questioned on a fake gold scam in which a Saudi prince was conned by a ring of Kenyan fraudsters.
Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti told the Nation Thursday that the Bungoma senator, who has been identified as a person of interest, has been lined up for a date with detectives.
“He is a person of interest, and we shall be interrogating him and all others mentioned to determine their degree of involvement,” Mr Kinoti said.
In what is turning to be an international investigation, Mr Kinoti said he is also pursuing other “actors” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dubai and Russia.
As regards the senator, detectives will want to know what he was doing in Dubai last September.
There are claims that he was used by scammers to shore up confidence in the victims.
The senator has previously said that he lost money in the deal. A tweet from his account on September 4 last year proves that he was, indeed, in Dubai. “Have had a full day of meetings in Dubai focusing on how to improve trade ties between Kenya and the UAE,” he had tweeted.
Also to be questioned are politician Zaheer Jhanda, businessman Don Bosco Gichana and Chris Obure.
DCI detectives spent the whole of Thursday questioning flamboyant personality Jared Otieno after he presented himself to them early morning.
Police had raided one of his two houses on Wednesday evening and carted away computers, stationery and two luxury cars — a Porsche and Bentley.
One of the two cars, a third-generation Bentley Continental GT, imported a month ago, is one of its kind on Kenyan roads.
With an asking price of about Sh20 million before import duty, it’s capable of rocketing from zero to 100 km/hour in just 3.8 seconds, and hits a maximum speed of 330km/hour, thanks to its six-litre engine.
The Nation understands that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) did not know how much duty to charge on the car when it landed on Kenyan soil. They ended up detaining it for almost a month.
By last evening, the State had not decided on what to charge Mr Otieno with as no one has so far complained against him.
It is however said that the police want to find out what he knows about the wave of gold scams that have hit the country.
Other sources said the police were forced to arrest Mr Otieno in order to assuage public anger over why they have been unable to arrest any big fish since launching an assault on suspected gold scammers last month.
Before going to press, it emerged that the DCI will be seeking custodial orders from the court to continue holding Mr Otieno for further interrogations.
At least 40 suspected gold scammers have so far been arrested especially at Kilimani in Nairobi. This follows protests by the UAE after one of its nationals, who is linked to the royal family, was conned.
Mr Jhanda, the alleged mastermind of the con in which Mr Ali Zandi could have lost up to Sh400 million, is still at large.
It is said that Mr Jhanda short-changed his accomplices immediately the money landed in his account.
This is thought to be a reason why a video detailing a presentation of rows of boxes containing what is thought to be gold pallets being presented to Mr Zandi has been leaked on the internet.
The video, which visibly shows two Kenyan newspapers dated March 16, has a male voice trying to convince Mr Zandi on the contents of the boxes, which are emblazoned with DR Congo flags.
“We have done the final sealing apart from two boxes as you have seen here,” says the male voice.