Kenyan Banks In The Crosshairs Of A 400kg Fake Gold Deal

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

Milimani Commercial Court Judge A. Mabeya has granted orders for the freezing of several accounts held in three different banks over 400 KG of fake gold deals in a ruling dated March 15, 2024. The banks, namely Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank, and Eco Bank, were ordered to freeze all the accounts that were used in the fake gold scam until the case was heard and determined.

In an application dated May 16, 2023, filed by Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Bernard Shiaunda Aete, Ojaja Residency Limited, Shamiri Technologies Limited, and Helen Nkechinyelu Chikezie, they sought orders that the accounts held by Osewe Alphonce Collins Odoyo, Odero Osiemo & Co. Advocates, and Collins Grace & Associates Advocates be frozen, as well as the accounts held in the three banks.

The applicants further sought orders that they be allowed to trace the money deposited in bank account numbers 6628003244, 1296631389, and 02020259622700 and that the defendants be compelled to avail bank statements for the aforementioned accounts or, in the alternative, be ordered to furnish security of USD 610,000. The application was supported by the affidavits of Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and Prof. Bernard Shiaunda Aete, both sworn on May 16, 2023.

The applicants’ case was that the plaintiffs had transferred USD 610,000 into Alphonce Osewe’s account held at ECO Bank for onward transmission to the seller of the alleged 400 kg of gold. The plaintiffs were victims of a cross-border gold trading scam involving the defendants. According to the applicants, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, through Helen Nkechinyelu, had been approached by Alphonce Osewe for business involving the sale of gold. Osewe assured Adeyeye that he had a genuine client who was in the business of selling gold, and on May 5, 2023, an agreement was entered into for the purchase of 400 kilograms of gold. 

Through various transactions, money was deposited in Osewe’s accounts on diverse dates; however, buyers never received the 400 kilograms’ gold bars, nor were the money refunded.

The defendants, however, claimed that no transaction was done and that the only transaction was on account of the legal relationship. They averred that on April 13, 2023, Shamiri Technologies Limited entered into a legal relationship with Collins Grace & Associates Advocates for legal services at a consideration of USD 350,000, and a deposit of Ksh. 26,100,000 was paid out.

Further, it was claimed that the money claimed by the plaintiffs was wired back by the firm of Odero Osiemo and Company advocates.

The judge in his ruling noted, “In this regard, I find that the plaintiffs have demonstrated that they have an arguable case, and there is a risk that if the freezing orders are not granted, the funds in the said accounts would be dissipated. Accordingly, I find merit in the application, and the same is allowed.”