Unraveling the Allegations: Josiah Kariuki’s Role in the Sh209 Million Fake Fertilizer Case

by Rofina Media
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Josiah Kariuki

Josiah Kariuki’s Role in the Sh209 Million Fake Fertilizer Case

A Nairobi businessman who allegedly conspired to defraud Kenyans in a $209 million fake fertilizer case was on Monday. Josiah Kariuki, who is said to be the director of Fifty One Capital Limited and SBL Innovate Manufacturers Limited, appeared before principal magistrate Celesa Okore. He denied the charges of conspiracy to defraud, and forgery, among others.

In the first count, he is accused that, jointly with others, not before the court, he conspired with intent to defraud Kenyan farmers, selling a total of 139,688 bags of 25 kg each of amendment and conditioner valued at Sh209,532,000, purporting to be genuine fertilizer, a fact they knew to be false.

He allegedly committed the offense on March 31, 2022, at Kenya National Cereals and Produce Board Headquarters in Nairobi City, within Nairobi County.

In another count, Kariuki was accused that on January 12, 2023, at an unknown place within the country, jointly with others not before the court with intent to deceive Kenya Bureau of Standards Nakuru Region offices, he forged an agreement namely value-adding soil amendment and conditioner to organic fertilizer and animal supplement.

He allegedly purported it to be a genuine, valid agreement signed between SBL Innovate Manufacturers Ltd. and African Diatomite Industries Limited.

He was further charged that on an unknown date at an unknown place, jointly with others not before the court, with an intent to deceive, he made a Kenya Bureau of Standards permit to use standardization mark number 14617 in the name of 51 Capital, African Diatomite Industries K ltd, purporting it to be a genuine permit to use standardization mark issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

The court heard that on January 18, 2023, at KEB offices in Nakuru Township, Nakuru County, they knowingly and fraudulently uttered a forged agreement between African Diatomite Industries Limited and SBL Innovate manufacturers.

Kariuki was also charged that on March 18, 2022, at NCBP Headquarters in Nairobi, they knowingly and fraudulently uttered a forged permit to use the standardization mark number 14617 in the name of Fifty One Capital African Diatomite Industries K Limited to the National Cereals and Produce Board, purporting it to be a genuine one issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

He was also charged alongside companies Fifty-One Capital Limited and SBL Innovate Manufacturers Limited that between January 28, 2023, and March 8, 2024, at an unknown place in the Republic of Kenya, knowingly and with intent to deceive an applied standardization mark for the manufacture of organic fertilizer on goods that failed to meet the requirements of KS 2290:2018 Organic fertilizer specifications.

Kariuki and the companies also knowingly made use of misleading labels for Original Plus Fertilizer on bags containing soil amendment and conditioner between April 21, 2022, and March 8, 2024.

Through his lawyer, the accused pleaded for lenient bond terms and witness statements from the prosecution. The prosecution opposed his release on bail, stating that he was a flight risk. The court will make its ruling on Tuesday on the bail application. In the same case, three NCPB officials have since denied the charges and are out on a Sh1 million cash bail. The officers are,Joseph Muna Kamote, John Kiplangat, and John Mbaya.

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