NAIROBI, Kenya, June 17- Former Berlin Marathon runner-up, Joseph Riri has been arrested by police in his hometown Nyahururu on charges of fraudulently obtaining USD 11,364 (Ksh1million) under pretence he could obtain jobs for youth in the area.
Riri, the 2002 Singapore Marathon winner and 2:06:49 personal best runner from the 2004 Berlin race, 40, was apprehended at his home early Monday after evading several police dragnets.
According to the police, the athlete received the money from unsuspecting residents after pretending he was a nominated member of the Nyandarua County Assembly and that he was in a position to assist youths get jobs.
Nyandarua Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD), Benjamin Onsongo, said the arrest follows numerous complaints from members of the public after they were conned money.
He added initial investigations established that the marathoner, who hails from Ngobit area and resides at Nyahururu’s Core Site Estate, was culpable.
Onsongo told that he was demanding for up to USD568 (Ksh50,000) from each victim.
“He has been going round Nyandarua and other parts of Laikipia pretending that he was a nominate member of the assembly representing the youths and was out to secure them jobs. He would ask for a fee to process the job transactions,” the OCPD explained.
Onsongo said that the police received a public outcry and that was when they launched investigations.
“The claims have been coming to us in the recent past and when we got the number that people used to send money to that is when we tracked it. We found him relaxing at his home in Nyahururu’s Core Site estate,” the police boss explained.
Riri also won the Otsu and Stockholm marathons in his heydays between 2000 to 2005.