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Wash Wash: How Fake Gold Dealer Chris Obure Use Private Jet Services To Defraud Foreigners

Nairobi businessman Chris Obure conned an American citizen US$400,000 (Sh54 million) while pretending he could sell him precious stones

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Chris Obure appears at the Milimani Law Courts on November 15, 2022.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has laid bare details of how a Nairobi businessman Chris Obure conned an American citizen US$400,000 (Sh54 million) while pretending he could sell him precious stones and have them transported to the USA using a private jet.

In a replying affidavit filed at the Milimani Anti-Corruption High Court through investigator Alfred Musalia, the state agency has exposed how Obure used a private jet hiring firm known as Cullinan Private Jet to lure one Rondell Maurice Fletcher, a United States of American national into believing that he sells precious stones in Kenya and can be airlifted using the said private charter to the United Arab Emirates.

Musalia demonstrates how Obure used the Kenyan subsidiary company of a USA registered exclusive private air charter service firm which he represents locally to defraud the foreign investor of millions of shillings without delivering the said goods and services.

The officer says that links to the private jet hiring firm were found after millions of shillings were wired into the country raising alarm of money laundering claims and upon investigations they established that the funds are proceeds of crime having been defrauded from an American national by Obure in August last year.

Air charter jets

Contrary to the assertions by Kenyan subsidiaries of two USA registered exclusive private air charter service firms namely Cullinan Private Jets Corp Limited and Glo Jets International Limited currently represented by Obure locally, the officer said ARA has established that the funds in issue were fraudulently obtained from Fletcher, a citizen of the USA.

“I established that the said Rondell Maurice Fletcher deposited a total of USD 400,000 into his Mazuma Holdings Account number 6897943574 held at Wells Fargo USA,” Musalia said in an affidavit.

He adds that a total of US$412,746. 55 was then transferred from Mazuma Holdings Account number 6897943574 held at Wells Fargo USA to Cullinan Private JET USA Account number 9984784992 held at Wells Fargo USA.

Private accounts

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The investigator also established that a total of US$ 333, 718.35 which is part of funds in issue was sent from Cullinan Private JET USA Account number 9984784992 held at Wells Fargo USA to Cullinan Private Jets Corp Limited Account number 01904057361250 held at I&M Bank.

“The funds were subsequently utilized by the Respondents ( Cullinan Private Jets Corp Limited and Glo Jets International Limited) for various purposes which are not the intended purpose safe for the amount preserved,” Musalia added.

The agency was responding to the company documents filed in court in which ARA applied for the account to be frozen pending forfeiture proceedings.

The High Court Judge Esther Maina has already frozen accounts of the two exclusive jet companies, which are subsidiaries of global multi-billion dollar companies with operations in 47 countries pending the hearing and determination of the forfeiture suit by ARA.

According to investigator Musalia, the statement of Fletcher which has also been filed in court reveals the manner in which the firms fraudulently obtained the funds in issue from him without delivering goods or rendering any service to him.

In his statement Fletcher says he has been a businessman for over 10 years and states in July and August 2023 he developed interest in purchasing precious stones from Kenya.

“The precious stones were thereafter to be airlifted using a private charter to the United Arab Emirates. I contacted the Cullinan Jet team in Orlando Florida (United States of America) so that they could help in linking me with their subsidiary team in Kenya. I contacted Mr. Andy Keesee via mail who promised to follow up with their team in Kenya,” Fletcher says.

Last year an advocate of the High Court and a gold dealer were charged with defrauding an American businessman of Sh132 million in a fake gold deal.

Lawyer Tom Otieno Ngoe and Nicholas Ndolo were charged in a Nairobi court with defrauding an American businessman Seth Adams Bernstein and forging of a East Africa Mineral Export permit.

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