NAIROBI, Kenya June 23 -A businessman accused of defrauding a Nakuru-based nursing home of Sh948, 000 in a fake shipping deal has been arrested.
The man identified as Samwel Mwendwa Mutua is said to have been contracted on November 6, 2020, by St. Joseph’s Maternity and Nursing Home to deliver hospital equipment that was to be shipped from China.
The equipment included hospital beds, mortuary equipment, theater beds and a dental chair but none was shipped in.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, a series of payments were made to the suspect by the nursing home with the first payment said to be Sh407, 000.
The nursing home wired the money to the suspect’s company account held at a local bank from its Equity Bank account.
“The payments were made after the China-based vendor consolidated the shipment into a 40-feet container and settled it on Oceanus Intn’l Logistics (Shenzen) Co. Ltd as guided by the suspect.
The second disbursement of Sh158, 200 was wired to the suspect’s account believed to be shipping line charges and container deposits.
At this point, the goods are reported to have arrived in the country on December 8, 2020, and it was then that the hospital applied for a clearance permit from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
An extra Sh383,000 was on April 4, 2021 sent to the suspect to cater for Kenya Ports Authority rent and the World Freight Logistics agency fee, the latter amounting to Sh183,000.
“It was after receiving the entire amount of Sh948, 000 that the suspect decided to go under, after a series of false promises that his company would deliver the goods at the hospital,” the detectives said.
Upon realizing that it had been conned, the hospital reported the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Complaints division.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect had not only defrauded the hospital but also had their shipment auctioned on overstay grounds at the Embakasi Inland Container Depot.
“Investigations conducted by the DCI established that having received the Sh948,200 from the hospital, the suspect neither paid the freight charges to Oceanus Co. Ltd, rent to KPA nor the container deposits,” DCI said adding that the “swift transfer forms presented by the suspect alleging to have paid USD 3275 to the China-based company as freight charges were found to be fake,”.
“The DCI calls upon any other member of the public who may have been duped by the suspect or his company in a similar manner to make their report at DCI Headquarters-Operations Directorate,” the DCI said of the suspect who was due in court Thursday.