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Congolese charged in Sh680 million gold scam

A Congolese national who’s been on the run for four years has been charged with defrauding a Ukranian and a Japanese nationals of over Sh680million in a fake gold deal.

Mr Andre Kongolo Tshikunga will remain in custody after failing to raise a bond of Sh60 million.

Tshikunga has been in custody for the last 11 days, and was granted temporary freedom by Milimani senior principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi.

Tshikunga has denied defrauding Mr Kovalenko Hennadii (ukranian) and Mr Nashimoto Masaaki between January 2018 and November 2020.

He was charged with obtaining through pretences United States dollars ($)1,059,000 (KSh105,900,000) and Mr Masaaki United States Dollars ($)5,772,717 (KSh577,271,700).

He’d reportedly claimed he was in a position to ship to Mr Masaaki 250 kilogrammes and consignment of pure gold to Mr Hennadii between January 2018 and November 2020.

A lawyer for the complainants opposed the release of the suspect on bond alleging he was a flight risk given that he had been on the run.

But Mr Ochoi declined the bail objection by lawyer Gerry Owuor saying, “bond is a constitutional right for both indigenious citizens and foreignors.”

He said Article 49 1(h) requires all suspects be admitted to bail and be accorded fair hearing.

“The prosecution is not opposed to the release of the accused on bond. There is no affidavit sworn by the complainant detailing the status of the accused and that he will not turn up for trial once released on bond,” Mr Ochoi stated in his ruling.

In the two cases Mr Ochoi freed Mr Tshikunga on a bond of Sh10million with two sureties for the Ukranian suit then released him a bond of Sh50million with two sureties in the Masaaki suit.

“Although the accused may deposit his passport in court as a bail condition that is not a sure guarantee he will turn up for trial,” Mr Owuor said.

Mr Tshikunga has been on the run for the past three years until he was arrested on January 6,2022 then detained at Capitol Hill Police Station for interrogation.

The court also heard the accused has other pending cases.

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