As narrated by Twitter user @NairobiWanderer.
“Conmen of Nairobi. A thread.
I get a phone call from a chap called Dr.John. Says we met sometime last year at Nairobi Hospital and he is now posted at Moi Referral Hospital.
I don’t quite recall. Says we exchanged cards and goes ahead and states the name of company I worked with…And I was at Nairobi Hospital last year…I listen…
Says his brother in law has some investors looking to open up a chain of businesses in Kenny and they need a Kenyan Partner. I always take a listen. You never know, right?
Asks that I meet his bro-in-law for more details and an intro to the said investors… Sends me the number and I call.
I call him and the first thing he asks is “are you driving?” That was alarm bell numero uno. I say no. We agree to meet at Garden City.
I get there early and find a spot with plenty of people at the food court. Mr. John Mwangi arrives. Pleasantries then we start discussing the investors.
Mwangi says he works for a tours company in Nyali and often gets opportunities.
This one involves a Botswana guy and his Dutch wife. He explains that they want to start a chain of luxury spas 1st in Nairobi then Mombasa.
They need someone business savvy to run the business here, 1st premises already acquired, machinery being imported, they just need the Kenyan partner, shares available etcetera…
The concept of spas fits in so well with a future project so my interest is piqued. But Mwangi starts another story… Says these same ‘investors’ have another line of business for which they need that same Kenyan Partner to run….
Alarm bells start ringing in my head. He says they have a gemstone mine back in Bots and they sell the stones here in KE.
Now here starts the major loopholes. Mwangi says the investors bring the stones, meaning he and his biz partner have the stones’ value determined by a geologist then they flog them to a certain Mzungu company.
Apparently Mwangi’s biz partner’s husband’s cushy INGO job had come to an end and she has left KE. So he needs a new partner to flog the stones with.
I ask why he can’t continue with the biz himself? Says he is on tour often and needs someone else…
Goes ahead to explain that there is a Mining License that the Mzungu company gave him and his partner and it has expired so he needs to renew. Kes 69,100.
At that point I am like, WTF. And I specify that what I’d be interested in is the Chain of spas. A legit business. He stresses the extreme urgency that there was already an order for 10set of gemstones that the Mzungu Co. have been waiting for and the investors came with them.
At this point, I am uninterested in all of it coz I can see the con game peeking. I tell him to go ahead and ask the investors to come over for a chat. If possible right away, right here.
As expected he says they are in fact not far from here. Let me call and ask them to come. He gets on a call and says, “leta mgeni hapa Garden City”. Who says that even?!
At this point, I tell him I have another meeting and I’ve askes them to meet me here. They should be arriving in the next few. But I will have them wait for me to meet your ‘investors’ first.
He starts being a tad jittery saying that is not a good idea. Perhaps I should cancel that meeting to allow ample time for the ‘investors’….
I state that it isn’t a problem, they’ll wait. They are my suppliers and we must meet today. I attempt to reconfirm who it is we are meeting. The Botswanan, his Dutch wife?
He says its the gemstone geologist and Botswana guy. I ask why the geologist? Says to verify the stones being brought. I state that I am not interested in the stones biz…! He stutters and says, “Oh dear, then let me tell the geologist not to come”. He walks away on a call.
Comes back and says, the Botswana guy is here but he’s been dropped off at the wrong entrance. I tell him, no worries, let me tell my suppliers over there that we will be a little longer. I motion to a distant table in the food court.
He walks off. I wait for 10mins as I finish my lemonade. Another 5 mins. Traffic should have died down by now, I should go…I call Mwangi to know if everything is okay…. He doesn’t pick up….
I think he should have rehearsed his schpiel at little bit better. What was supposed to happen was I jump at the prospect of quick money. Ooh and ahhh at some fake gemstones; part with the 69100 on the spot and start chasing after non-existent people.”
After the long thread, this is what people had to say in the replies section.
Omg same EXACT story same exact location/meet – piqued my interest coz I was already running a chain of spas at the time. Same exact mgeni running late/getting lost but he didn’t mention the gem stones.
— Liz Simiyu (@LizzInjinia) June 1, 2019
It’s a dirty hustle out here ! Almost lost some money to these fast come deals ealier this year. Lesson learnt nothing that comes easy is worth it and always drag a friend to such meetups.
— Hayes (@njoguhayes) June 1, 2019
Same script “south Sudan Gold” in 2014, deal went down at Ngara, Showbe Plaza walked away when the “gold” was tested with vodka and Fire. Told em gold is tested with Nitric acid. They were shook and “geologist” took off. Fools did not even have cash to pay for tea..#shambalamawe
— Richard Gituro (@RG2RO) June 1, 2019
they doing the same thing to my dad av tried to make him see sense but he wunt now ati the soo called deal is take place on monday,am soo lost ryt now coz i know its a scam and am helpless
— perrywaryan (@njeriperiz) June 1, 2019
After reading your story,am amazed. People should avoid short cuts in life and these seemingly get rich quick schemes. Otherwise the more greedy one becomes,the more they are conned
— Moses Kimanthi (@moseh_kimanthi) June 2, 2019
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