Kenya is littered with Confidence tricksters who have left many unsuspecting victims driven to depression, family break ups while others have committed suicide. Here are fraudsters who thrived on Kenyans gullibility..
Gilbert Deya and Mrs Mary Juma Deya: Miracles Babies Saga
The televangelist who rarely used the Bible in his sermons but instead relied on the Holy Spirit to give him direction claimed that through prayer he had the ability to cause infertile women get pregnant. His Deya Ministries based in the UK had sterile women giving testimonies of how the Man of God had helped them give birth. One of Deya congregant claimed to have given birth to three babies in less than 12 months. What baffled many is the fact that the sterile women had to travel to Kenya to give birth. The cookie started crumbling in 2004 when Deya’s wife was arrested in Nairobi with miracles babies in their Mountain View residence. DNA Tests conducted on the children revealed there was no genetic match to the Deya family or there alleged mothers. She was charged with stealing children alongside Pastor Rose Atieno Kiserem. Upon her release, Rose confused the miracle babies was a ruse. Deya is facing criminal charges in the UK with three counts of rape and one count of attempted rape against a woman.
Joshua Waiganjo: The Fake Top Cop
He was a Provincial Police Officer for Ten good years. Joshua Waiganjo had a knack of reigning terror to junior officers who didn’t toe the line. The fake cop attended classified security meetings and dined with the high and mighty in the security circles. His cover was blown on 4 January 2013 as he was flown to Baragoi by a police chopper to investigate the massacre of 42 gallant police officers in the hands of cattle rustlers. He was arrested for allegedly impersonating an assistant police commissioner for 5 years. Joshua Karianjahi Waiganjo is currently serving a two years sentence for being in possession of police uniform.
George Donde: PYRAMID Scheme
Kenyans like a quick buck and the Pyramid scheme presented by George Donde offered just that. Through his Development Enterpreneurship and Community Initiative (DECI), Donde convinced his unsuspecting victims that they would double their investments after three months had lapsed. The first clients were paid and that acted as a catalyst for them to invest even more with Deci. The architect of the pyramid scheme sold the idea to the clergy who in turn convinced their congregation. Kenyans of all walks of life invested heavily-some even taking bank loans-in Deci and other pyramid schemes that had sprouted to feed on naivety of Kenyans. The scheme had defrauded thousands of Kenyans money running in billions. The local media was awash with stories of family breaks up, suicide and depression among the investors.
DICK BERG: All Africa games
Dick Berg was a con artist who made a kill when Kenya hosted the All Africa Games held in Moi Sports Complex in 1987. The US citizen landed in Nairobi in the height of the preparations of the games with an impressive resume to meet the Ministry of Culture and Sports officials. He assured the officials that his Berg and Associate firm had collected colossal amounts in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and he would replicate the same for Nairobi games. The fraudster was granted exclusive rights to market the All Africa Games. He was able to bring on board Coca-cola and other respected companies as sponsors to the event. It later emerged that Berg had disappeared and only submitted Kshs. 5 Million to the ministry. The promised 224 million was nowhere to be seen and efforts and the international con vanished never to be heard again.
Mohammed Khashoggi: Saudi billionaire’s son
Mohammed Khashoggi was Kenyan own version of Frank Abagnale. His track record puts him in the pedestal of world renowned con artists. Mohammed Khashoggi had his victim believe that he was the son of a Saudi billionaire. He conned hotels of millions of shillings. In one UK hotel he spent over £ 200,000. Mohammed masqueraded as an international pianist and as a security agent. The ‘billionaire son’ was employed by a five star hotel as a cabaret artist and he used that chance to swindle unsuspecting tourists. Mohammed conned a businessman kshs 20 million after he convinced him that his firm had been awarded a tender worth millions of shillings to supply the Kenya Ports Authority with equipment. Khashoggi has served a jail term in UK for fraud.
Mr Artur Margaryan and Mr Artur Sargsyan: The Artur Brothers
How the duo got appointed as Deputy Commissioners of Police stills remains a mystery. Well we know is that the brothers were actually international criminals who had the backing of some powerful government officials. The Arturs lived a lavish carefree lifestyle in Runda estate where parties were who is who in Kenya attended. The two drove diplomatic cars and brandished pistol at will. It was alleged that it was the Artur’s who raided the Standard Media Group after police found ammunition, guns and Quick Response Unit branded T-Shirts that the raiders used when they attacked Media house. Retired President Kibaki acted by sacking the then CID director Joseph Kamau after the crooks assaulted immigration officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Winnie Wangui, daughter to Othaya MP, Mary Wambui was rumored to be in a love affair with one of the Arturs.