Japanese born American citizen Masaaki Nashimoto is the latest victim of international gold scammer Andre Ishikunga Kongolo alias Joseph Kimo after being conned Sh 226 million (2m dollars) meant for 1,200kg of gold that was never delivered.
The new claims come less than a week after Kenyan detectives announced that they were zeroing in on Kongolo who in September 2019, under the name Joseph Kimo defrauded a Ukrainian businessman out of nearly Sh1 billion, leaving him stranded in Nairobi for several days.
Detectives would also want to know how he managed to get Kenyan citizenship, despite the numerous cases against him.
Nashimoto, the Director of a multimillion firm MSA International Limited that operates from Hong Kong, through his Africa agent, Zambian lawyer Kasongo Jackson Chilufya, were duped by Kongolo, once again under the name Joseph Kimo of passport number A2019102 into paying for non-existing gold.
Kongolo who has all along been conducting his trade in Kenya and Uganda using a false name Joseph Kimo, is a citizen of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by birth but is believed that he recently acquired a Kenyan citizenship through his wife’s political connections and liquidness. Currently it is believed that he is in the process of acquiring a new Kenyan identity card and passport under his official names Andre Ishikunga Kongolo.
It baffles detectives how he managed to acquire Kenyan citizenship, despite the fact that he has several criminal and civil cases going on in the Kenyan courts, the most pronounced one being the Sh 1 billion civil case filed by Ukrainian business mogul Hennadii Kovalenko through Oluoch-Olunya & Associates.
Detectives who sought anonymity claimed that he could have probably managed to acquire Kenyan citizenship using the new name instead of the name Kimo which is on record for negative deeds.
Kongolo who is married to a prominent Migori business woman Zahra Shukri Mohamed, the sister to flamboyant Migori politician Fatuma Zainab, is believed to be enjoying some political connection in conducting his operations locally. He has also in several occasions heard bragging of his close ties with newly appointed Nairobi police boss Rashid Yakubu.
Kongolo who has several criminal records under the false name, is believed to be operating smoothly with sleek cars and organizing meetings with his unsuspecting clients at posh hotels to cut an image of a genuine gold dealer. At some times he even dons uniform worn by customs officers who are on duty.
Detectives are also pursuing possibilities of money laundering racket by Kongolo after his company Afrisolutions Limited is believed to have received close to Sh 1 billion through its two accounts in Equity Bank and Diamond Trust Bank between 2018 and 2019.
The company no longer has a physical location and the names of directors have been changed.
“We already know that no one exists by the name Joseph Kimo. These gold scammers are very smart and slippery, they rarely leave any traces after pouncing on their targets, but we are zeroing in on some few,” said a senior detective who sought anonymity.
Conned Ukrainian Hennadii Kovalenko had travelled to East Africa three years ago to buy 350 kilograms of gold using his savings and borrowed money, according to a local daily newspaper.
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