The Prime suspect in USD 439 trillion fraud, which implicates eight other accused persons has been arrested in Gigiri, Nairobi.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Isaiah Aluodo Belek is believed to have authored communications with complainants who are businessmen from the Netherlands.
The suspect is in police custody being processed for arraignment on Monday.
Meanwhile, his Mercedes Benz which is believed to be a proceed of fraud has also been detained.
The other 8 suspects were arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts on Friday and pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud, being in possession of forged bank notes and possessing police uniforms.
DCI identified the suspects as Moses Otieno, Peter Aura, Brian Waweru, John Kalombo, Peter Kisanya, Noah Ouma, Charity Njeri and Mercy Cheptoo.
The prosecution objected to the release of the suspects on bond and court is set to rule on the matter on 21st November, 2023.
During their arrest, several boxes stashed with fake US dollars suspected stolen jungle fatigues for APS officers, military boots, and customs reflector jackets among other recoveries were seized.
In the orchestrated fraudulent scheme, the foreigners were contacted through a WhatsApp call by a number registered in the name ‘Canopy Shield Agencies’, by a caller who informed them that their consignment of 40 pallets had been held at the Kenya Customs Warehouse pending duty fee payment of USD 36,000.
Allegedly, the complainants had entered into a cash-on-transit deal involving USD 439 trillion destined for Dubai from the Central Bank of Togo.
The caller who posed as a customs officer convinced the complainants that the first batch of 40 pallets contained USD 4 billion and that they were being flown through Kenya to facilitate their clearance and smooth entry to Dubai.
“Booking a flight to the country, the foreign nationals landed at the Jomo Kenyatta Intn’l Airport (JKIA) hoping to clear the required duty fee at once. Unbeknownst to the fraudsters that detectives had got wind of the ongoings, a contact person led the two foreigners at the warehouse where the purported consignment was being held” the DCI said on X.
Unaware the detectives had laid a trap for them, the eight suspects got busy around the warehouse convincing their targets to part with the USD 36,000, only for the operations team to storm the premises.