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Don Bosco held for fraud in Tanzania

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY DOMINIC WABALA

A Kenyan businessman has been arrested and is being detained in Tanzania on fraud charges.

Don Bosco Gichana, a 32 year old businessman who caused a stir when he became one of the few Kenyans to import a gas guzzling Hummer sport utility vehicle in 2007 was arrested last week by Tanzanian security agents in Arusha and later transferred to Dar es Salaam where he is being held.

Gichana runs several entertainment spots in Nairobi including Capri Seven. He also contested for a parliamentary seat in Kisii county on a CORD ticket in last month's election and lost.

Reliable sources yesterday revealed that US law enforcement agents who are said to have played an important role in tracking and arresting Gichana have since filed a request with the Tanzanian authorities to have him extradited to the US to face other unspecified charges.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the businessman allegedly donated substantial funds to the campaign teams of rival presidential candidates in the recent general election.

"The group was arrested while on the verge of transferring over Sh1 billion from the World Bank account. They have since been transferred to Dar es Salaam where investigations are going on," a source privy to the investigations said.

Several Kenyan politicians who are close friends to the suspects are reported to have attempted to have the Tanzanian police drop the charges and release the businessman. They have however reportedly been informed that the US is seeking to have the man extradited to the US where he is wanted.

Gichana yesterday appeared before Kisutu Resident Magistrate's court in Dar es Salaam where he was charged with knowingly and fraudulently obtaining US$4.9 million.

The charges include money laundering by transmitting to Arusha a forged cheque amounting ti US$4.940,363.25 deposited into account No.02J103632500 belonging to Mayale Precious Mines. The case was adjourned to April 18 2013.

In November 2010, Gichana, his two relatives and three other people were charged in a Nairobi court for stealing Sh104 million from Fina Bank. Don Bosco Gichana denied stealing the money. He was charged alongside his sister Moraa Gichana. Gichana and his co-accused allegedly stole Sh96,759,540 on November 15 at Fina Bank, Ngong Road branch. He is also charged with stealing another Sh8 million from the bank.

Gichana, Moraa and another relative Obadia Gichana were also charged with stealing Sh96.7 million from Eco Bank on November 15, 2010. Other suspects charged alongside them were Albert Kuloba, Graham Sagwe and Robert Onkwani. 

Don Bosco and Sagwe were released on a cash bail of Sh1 million while Kuloba was granted a Sh300,000 cash bail. All of the group members were also accused of conspiring to defraud Garden Real Estate Development Ltd of Sh96.7 million on November 12, 2010.