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Uhuru imposters deny attempt to defraud Sameer Africa boss



Seven suspects accused of mimicking or representing President Uhuru Kenyatta have denied attempting to defraud Sameer Africa boss Naushad Merali of Sh10 million.

Joseph Waswa, Duncan Muchai, Isaac Wajekeche, William Simiyu, David Luganya, Gilbert Kirunja and Anthony Wafula appeared yesterday before Milimani magistrate Francis Andayi.

They were each released on Sh100,000 bail.

The magistrate directed that they report to the DCI every Friday for three weeks. Court documents indicate the seven conspired to defraud and obtain Sh10 million from Akif Hamid Butt between January 24 and February 1. They pretended they were in a position to sell land in Milimani to Sameer Africa.

They were arrested on February 22, after the scheme went wrong and information reached the President and other State House officials.

A caller who imitated Uhuru’s voice allegedly called the Sameer Africa boss, pretending to be Uhuru and asked for Sh10 million to facilitate land acquisition.

Sameer Africa wrote a letter to State House, seeking an audience with Uhuru on the land deal.

After receiving the letter, State House officials contacted Sameer officials and inquired about the deal between themselves and the ‘fake President Kenyatta’.

The matter was reported to the police and officers from the DCI headquarters opened investigations.

One suspect, Gilbert Kirunja, was accused by police of faking Uhuru’s voice. The IT guru is said to be so skilled that he has perfected mimicking the President’s voice.

The group is also known to have strong links with State House, the police and other powerful offices, which they use to execute their swindles. The scammers lure rich business people with the promises of restricted tenders, mainly involving the supply of goods.

To win the trust of potential bidders, the fraudsters — in collusion with government officials and police officers — forge documents on letterhead and invite their targets to government offices to sign fake documents. They drive new luxury cars, wear designer suits and live in palatial homes in high-end neighbourhoods.

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