•Bulgarian denied bail.
A Bulgarian and a Kenyan suspected to be involved in a fake gold syndicate were on Monday charged with obtaining $30,850 (Sh3 million) from a trader by pretending they could sell him 10kg of gold.
Bulgarian Yulian Stankov Petrov alias Vikta Rosta and Mohammed Akabar Rashi alias Ammit Gathi, who were arrested last Friday, pleaded not guilty before Milimani senior resident magistrate Caroline Nzibe.
The magistrate released Rashi on a bond of Sh500,000 or a cash bail of Sh100,000 while Yulian was ordered to remain in custody until the hearing of the case on August 14.
Senior state counsel Fredrick Kimathi opposed Yulian's bail application saying he has no fixed abode in the country.
He told the court he is a flight risk. Rashi was allowed bail because he has all valid documents showing he is Kenyan.
The charge against the two says that between February 27 and April 27 the accused, jointly with others not before court, obtained $30,850 from Laxmi Narian Jildal by under false pretence that they could sell him gold.
Yulian alone is accused of being unlawfully present in the country without valid documents from the Immigration department in contravention of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act.
The two were arrested in Lavington Mall in Westlands by detectives from DCI's Transnational Organised Crime Unit.
It is said that they were found with proforma invoices belonging to Air Cargo limited.
Last week, DCI George Kinoti warned that foreign businessmen trading in gold will have to be subjected to compulsory scrutiny by government agencies before being allowed to continue with their activities.
In the statement posted on his twitter handle, the DCI said the country has experienced rampant cases where con artists defraud unsuspecting individuals by selling them fake gold.
It said, “DCI's attention has been drawn to an upsurge in criminal cases involving the procurement and sale of gold the country. The gold scam has now reached alarming levels as unsuspecting foreign nationals are being swindled large amounts of money by the fraudsters.”
The detectives' agency has shown its intention to involve the high commissions to join the fight against the vice. It has urged them to advise their nationals engaged in trade to follow procedures. The DCI told the traders to be wary of a marauding fake gold syndicate operating in the country.
“We urge the embassies (high commissions) to advise their nationals coming in for business to be apprised of a con business of gold going on in the country and first contact the Department of Mines and Geology for the procedure that pertains to buying and selling of gold and other precious metals,” it states.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)