Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe
Detectives are trying to unravel a syndicate in which seven suspects have been conning unsuspecting business people millions of shilling using the name of Deputy President William Ruto.
The suspects were on Monday arrested and 700 HP laptops, three vehicles with fake government stickers and Kenya Revenue Authority stickers seized in Nairobi’s Loresho area.
A document found in the suspects’ rented house indicates they had signed a Sh317 million deal with unsuspecting suppliers.
Detectives said the suspected con men have been importing the laptops in the pretext that they would be delivered to Ruto’s office. Suppliers are never paid.
Yesterday Ruto’s spokesman David Mugonyi said the suspects do not work in the DP’s office and the recovered vehicle stickers were fake.
“The matter is now under investigations but I can tell you the stickers are fake and the vehicles are not owned by the government,” he said.
Preliminary findings show the suspects use fake Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) to con members of the public, claiming it was Ruto’s office that was procuring the goods.
More suspects, including a politician who lost in Kwanza constituency parliamentary race last year, are being sought over the fraud.
Police said the politician had rented the house where the seven were nabbed. The seized vehicles, all four-wheel drive, have stickers similar to those of DP Ruto’s convoy, but police declared they do not belong to the government.
“They used fake stickers to gain credibility. We have established the cars do not belong to the government,” said an officer privy to the investigation.
The arrest comes after a man lodged a complaint at Athi River Police Station last week, saying he had supplied the laptop to a house in the area but the recipients had since vacated it and he could not reach them.
He said they had claimed to have been working for the DP’s office. It was then that police alerted Ruto’s office and later traced the gadgets to the Loresho apartment.
The complainant identified some of the suspects he had dealt with. Police say the same gang had in 2015 conned unsuspecting suppliers of gadgets at a conference at KICC in Nairobi. The case on the KICC issue is pending in court. Detectives are investigating how the suspects obtained KRA stickers.