'PURELY POLITICAL'

Gold scam: Businessman Paul Kobia arrested in his Riverside home

Police raid his residence but fail to find evidence linking him to the fake gild scandal

In Summary

• Kobia says his arrest is political since he wants to run for president in 2022. 

• Police suspected he has a safe in his house in which the fake gold is stored

Controversial businessman Paul Kobia
Controversial businessman Paul Kobia

Controversial businessman Paul Kobia was on Wednesday arrested in his Riverside home.

Kobia, alongside his 15 employees, were bundled in 10 Subarus that sped to DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road.

The DCI officers had camped at Kobia’s residence in Mzima Springs on Riverside Road from 10am. They searched and dusted the compound for what, the Star learnt,  might implicate him in the fake gold scandal.

After the five-hour search,  Kobia was arrested.

Sources suspected that the businessman had a safe in which fake gold was stored.

Though journalists were kept at bay and denied access, it is said several boxes were taken by the officers.

All the businessman's vehicles were all driven to the Kiambu Road DCI headquarters.

“It is unfortunate that we did not find what we were looking for,” a source said.

Asked what specific evidence they were looking for, the source maintained that all they know was that the evidence could have been shifted before their arrival.

Before he was taken for grilling, Kobia told journalists his arrest was political.

He said he is interested in vying for the presidency in 2022 and some people want to make sure he does not succeed.

“I am being harassed and arrested just because I want to be president in 2022. Just because I have seen corruption and I want to expose it they come to arrest me,” he said amid push and pull with the detectives.

Kobia is not new to controversy. In 2017, he was arrested and charged alongside his four bodyguards with kidnapping a Congolese businessman believed to a dealer in the gold.

He was charged and freed on Sh100,000 bail.

The 2017 Nairobi Senate aspirant is said to have gone to claim his Sh40 million from the Congolese, money he allegedly had lent him in exchange for gold.

He is said to have fired twice in the air during the drama at the man's compound.

The victim was hospitalised in serious condition at Nairobi Women’s Hospital.

Police said Kobia and the others were likely to be charged with abduction, assault, misuse of a firearm and other counts. They were released on similar bail terms or Sh200,000 bond.

None pleaded to charges because a psychiatric assessment is a prerequisite.

In 2014, he made threatening statements and reportedly tried to attack Cord leader Raila Odinga. There are also reports of him brandishing a firearm.

Last month in a similar raid, flamboyant businessman Jared Otieno was arrested for allegedly swindling foreigners in a gold export business deal.

Heavily armed DCI officers raided Otieno’s palatial home in Karen but did not find him.

Police towed his luxurious cars and carted away computers and documents in boxes.

They later drove to his other home in Lavington. 

 “We have information that Jared paid Sh110 million cash for this house and we have found things in the house that belong to him,” a police officer involved in the investigation said.

It was also not the first time Otieno was linked to fake gold scandal. 

Edited by R.Wamochie