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Nyanza Politician Jonathan Okoth Opande Arrested Over Sh100M Fake Gold Scam



Jonathan Okoth Opande.

A politician from Nyanza who vied for the Nyakach Constituency Parliamentary seat in the 2022 General Election was arrested on Friday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while boarding a flight to Kisumu.

Jonathan Okoth Opande alias Okoth Magawi is accused of conning two Thai nationals of more than Ksh.100 million in a fake gold deal.

Detectives raided a house in Lavington, Nairobi, that Opande also known as Chairman/Kiongozi had converted into a lavish office and recovered fake gold bars, pellets, and a makeshift smelting machine.

Opande, who was handcuffed, followed the sleuths as they broke into different rooms in his bungalow.


The police also seized various documents, including mining licences from the Ministry of Mining and business permits from Nairobi County.

They also found company seals and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) export seals.

To make the scam look authentic, the fraudsters used dust coats branded with the Ministry of Mining logo.

At the back of the main house, there was a structure where the smelting took place.

The police impounded the equipment used to melt metals, mostly brass, and polish them to look like gold bars and pellets.


In one corner of the compound, there was a store where metal boxes with export and import stickers were found.

Opande is alleged to have duped Thai nationals Kitvisit Songsri and Nutsaphol Songsri who work for Thai Lion Gold Limited into paying Ksh.100 million in exchange for fake gold.

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He denied the allegations and said that his company, Abisai Global Limited, was legitimate.

Detectives said that investigations into the Ksh.100 million gold scam started in February this year, after the victims reported the matter to the Royal Thai Embassy in Nairobi.

Opande will remain in custody until Monday when he will be arraigned in court.


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