Home NEWS County News Prime suspect in USD100,000 gold scam arrested at Busia border

Prime suspect in USD100,000 gold scam arrested at Busia border

Puati Poba Dally, 35 was intercepted by immigration officials

The Congolese national is in police custody.

The prime suspect in USD 100,000 (Ksh13M) gold scam has been arrested as he tried to sneak back through the Busia border.

The Congolese national is in police custody. “A Congolese fake-gold scammer who in 2023 engineered fraudulent machinations that bamboozled a Ghanaian merchant into a raw USD 100,000 deal is cooling his heels in Kenyan cells after attempting a sneak-back through the Busia border,” said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Puati Poba Dally, 35 was intercepted by immigration officials following a stop order issued in September 2023 when the complaint was lodged at the Operations Support Unit offices in Nairobi.

“In a classic case of clueless gold dealers losing millions to transnational organized ruthless gold diggers, the victim’s woes and journey to destitution began when he met Puati at a hotel in Ghana over lunch hour. Puati introduced himself as Osuman from Nigeria, who was in Ghana for business but whose residence and business addresses were in Uganda. In the course of their interaction, Puati learned that the victim was interested in the purchase and sale of gold, where he promised to introduce him to dealers in Uganda whereafter he could sell the gold in Dubai,” DCI explained.

The victim flew to Uganda on August 1, 2023, where he introduced him to the alleged dealers Ben and Hassan who posed as brothers.

“The weeks that followed saw the victim tossed back and forth by the three racketeers, and with each toss came the milking of dollars to a tune of USD 71,300 (Sh10.7 million) in the name of documentation of 10kg of gold, non-criminality certification, melting and taxation. Payment for the gold which was agreed at USD 33,000 per kg was to be made upon delivery to Dubai” DCI said on X.

The unsuspecting Ghanaian national victim boarded a UAE-bound flight on August 9 ahead of his cargo. He would days later book a flight back to Uganda on August 13 to check his gold, only to be told that it was being held at customs offices in Kenya where it had been erroneously flown through.

He then boarded a flight to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where he met Puati’s accomplices only identified as Daniel and Lucy, who fleeced him of close to USD 30,000 (over Sh4.3 million) in tax and clearance of non-existent-gold-between August 14 and September 1, 2023.

Thereafter they put him on a flight back to Dubai, in pretext that they were having a flight attendant secure his safe containing gold.

“DCI OSU team would only learn of the fraud when uncontrollable screams and wails were witnessed during take-off, forcing the victim to be ejected from the flight and his complaint recorded. Following the arrest of the prime suspect yesterday, interrogations are being conducted with a view to nab other members of the criminal syndicate,” DCI adds.

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