Inside Job? How "Uhuru Kenyatta" Conned Merali Firm Out Of Sh80 Million

Inside Job? How "Uhuru Kenyatta" Conned Merali Firm Out Of Sh80 Million

The events leading up to the conning of magnate Naushad Merali, head of the Sameer Group, out of Sh80 million can only be rivaled by a script from a Hollywood blockbuster. 

And he is not alone, many more have lost millions in bids to kill cases or win tenders but suffer in silence because of the nature of their losses.

Stories have been told of prisoners in Kamiti who mimic the voices of parents, teachers, doctors, and others to swindle unsuspecting victims of cash but a group of Kenyans, who roam the streets as free men, have taken the game a notch higher by using the voice of the most powerful man in the land to earn their daily bread, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Joseph Waswa, Duncan Muchai, Isaac Wajekeche, William Simiyu, David Luganya, Gilbert Kirunja and Anthony Wafula were arrested by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations but have not been charged yet as investigations are still ongoing.

Sources close to the DCI tell us that they will be charged with forgery, conspiracy to defraud and obtaining money by false pretense. The seven are also said to have links with powerful officials in State House and Harambee House.

The crime ring is more than just mimicking of the president's voice. They lure rich businessmen with promises of huge tenders in government and immunity from persecution arising from past and present corruption cases.

Their most common method of convincing their victims that they are legitimate is forging of letterheads and invitation to government offices to sign tender documents. All done in collusion with government officials and high ranking police officers.

Gilbert Kirunja who was accused by the police of being the man behind the fake Uhuru Kenyatta voice is a 33 year old IT graduate. He lives large, owning a house in the affluent Karen Estate that is home to Raila Odinga, Moses Wetangula, among other powerful politicians. He is unemployed.

Investigators in the case were shocked when they went to Gilbert Kirunja's 10 bedroom mansion. His home is a fortified palace, with a gate so ostentatious you would think he is a movie star or a charting musician.

So skilled is Gilbert Kirunja that the gang of seven depends on him to plan and execute their missions. He has perfected the voice of Uhuru Kenyatta that you would forgive Naushad Merali for believing that the man on the other side of the telephone conversation.

It is said that when Gilbert Kirunja called Merali, he did not even need to identify himself. The two men exchanged pleasantries and the "president" did not waste time in going straight to business. After all, a president has too much on his plate to spend too much time on pleasantries.

Gilbert informed Merali that there was a tender in government that he was willing to give him. The excited Merali immediately expressed his interest. At this point Gilbert informed him that a Sh10 Million shilling fee would be needed to sort logistical issues.

30 minutes later, men from "State House" arrived at Merali's office on Mombasa Road sharply dressed, in a convoy complete with police escort. They took the money and left, without firing a single shot or holding someone by the neck. The police say that rogue officers from Kilimani Police Station were involved in the operation.

It would take two more trips to Merali's office to get a total of Sh80 Million from the man. There was no suspicion whatsoever.

Merali who was abroad at the time of receiving the call authorized his finance officer to facilitate the transfer of the money. It is said that the money was deposited into an Equity Bank account.

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