The Joseph Lendrix Waswa Saga, Unmasking the Elusive Gold and Dollar Scam

by Rofina Media
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In a dramatic turn of events, Joseph Lendrix Waswa, a man linked to a massive haul of fake gold and counterfeit US dollars recently seized by the police in the Garden Estate area of Nairobi, surrendered himself to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices in Nairobi. Waswa had been on the run since September 9, following the arrest of his suspected accomplices during a police operation targeting the counterfeit operation. The seized items were found in a house allegedly linked to him.

The Surrender:

On Thursday, Waswa walked into the DCI offices accompanied by two lawyers and armed with an anticipatory bail of Sh200,000. His surrender marked a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the fake gold and dollar scam. While he had been wanted for questioning in connection with the seized counterfeit assets, Justice Diana Kavedza issued orders that prohibited his arrest or detention until further notice from the court. Instead, she directed that Waswa’s lawyers escort him to the DCI offices for questioning on September 21, 2023.

Justice Kavedza emphasized that the police were free to investigate or charge Waswa for any criminal conduct arising from the case. However, they were not allowed to arrest or detain him without the court’s consent. In addition, if the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided to press charges against Waswa, he would be duly informed of the court where he should appear for plea taking. In such a scenario, the court would have the authority to set new bail terms, effectively rendering the existing court order null and void.

Justice Kavedza’s orders included timelines for both the applicant and the respondents. Waswa was required to serve the respondents with the application and court order within seven days from September 21. Subsequently, the respondents were directed to file their respective responses within 10 days. The case was scheduled for a virtual mention on October 19, 2023, to set the direction for further proceedings.

The Bigger Picture:

Waswa’s surrender comes in the wake of a broader investigation into a fake gold scam that has implicated approximately 15 individuals. The operation, which commenced on September 1, managed to thwart an attempt by a Tunisian national to spend Sh1 billion on one tonne of fake gold and counterfeit US dollars. The scammers had packaged ordinary stones in metal boxes, which were discovered in a house converted into a high-end office in the Garden Estate area.

DCI Director Amin Mohammed expressed his concern over the persistence of such fraudulent activities, even with the ongoing operations to dismantle such criminal networks. The victim in this case arrived in Kenya on September 2, only to find himself coerced into making a Sh1 billion payment for the purported gold, with Sh400 million upfront and the remainder upon verification.

The surrender of Joseph Lendrix Waswa and the subsequent legal proceedings shed light on the ongoing battle against counterfeit operations involving fake gold and US dollars in Kenya. While Waswa’s surrender represents a breakthrough, it also underscores the intricate nature of these criminal networks, which often impersonate law enforcement and government officials. As investigations continue, the authorities are determined to unearth the full extent of the scam and bring those responsible to justice, providing a glimmer of hope for potential victims and a warning to would-be fraudsters.

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