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How How I lost Sh3.2 million to con artist

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A Brazilian pyramid scheme operating in Kenya has gone down with hundreds of millions of shillings belonging to local bitcoin investors.

The firm, founded by Brazilian con Ricardo Rocha, promised those who would be ranked among its biggest investors by April 18, 2018, a free five-day trip to the United Arab Emirates, where they would meet “top global business gurus”.

Ms Esther Muthoni, a businesswoman, is among the thousands of Kenyans who fell for the fraud and invested Sh3.2 million in the scheme.

She hoped to make a killing. Instead Ms Muthoni has lost her life savings. Now she is desperate, sick and confused.

She introduced her friend Lucy Kamatu, who invested Sh550,000 into the scheme. That, too, is gone.

The two illustrate the predicament of Kenyans who were lured into the world of cryptocurrency by Rocha and his agents at Velox 10 Global, a little-known company that claimed to trade in bitcoins.

The firm said it would help investors mint millions of shillings in profits.

It charged $100 (about Sh10,000) as membership fee, but members needed to upgrade by paying an additional $200, with the promise of earning up to $4,000 daily.

The Velox launch at Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi on September 20, 2017 was colourful.

It promised ambitious Kenyans millions of shillings in returns if they let it invest their cash in bitcoins.

At the time, the then Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndung’u warned against investing in the cryptocurrency.

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At the time Velox began its operations in Kenya, it had not yet been registered as a company in the country.

It was registered on January 25, 2018, nearly four years after its operations began.

Media reports from the launch event indicated that Mr Rocha was accompanied by the local Velox representative, Mr Paul Mugo.

Other individuals that were used to market the venture were Ms Sarah Nyambura and Ms Jane Nyambura.

Neither Mr Mugo nor the Nyamburas have answered our calls nor replied text messages in the past two weeks.

Velox, however, is not the only vehicle fraudsters have used to take gullible Kenyans for a ride.

A source at Central Police Station in Nairobi told the Nation that complaints had been raised against another digital currency company.

“Most of those accused opt to settle the cases out of court,” the source

said.

When Velox premiered in Kenya, Ms Muthoni hoped for a stress-free investment to secure her future.

She was one of the hundreds of Kenyans who attended the launch, where they were taught how to wire money to the bank account of Velox agent Daniel Karobia Gichuki.

They were promised up to 50 per cent profits on their investments, a typical line used by pyramid schemes.

Promised more money

Ms Muthoni and the others were also promised more money if they introduced more people to the idea.

On November 13 and 17, 2017, Ms Muthoni wired Sh3.2 million to Mr Gichuki’s Equity Bank account.

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Mr Gichuki was aware that the bank would want to know why she was transferring more than Sh1 million as required by law.

He told her to indicate that the money was “payment for work done” in the transfer forms.

“I knew I would recover the money in months,” Ms Muthoni told the Nation.

Six months later, a desperate Ms Muthoni reported the matter to Central Police Station when Mr Gichuki refused to return her money.

She also said Mr Gichuki had even threatened to harm her and her daughter. Mr Gichuki was arrested and arraigned for fraud the Milimani chief magistrate’s court. The case is ongoing.

He, however, insists that he was a businessman who also lost his investment, and that he has been in contact with some people that traded through him, to talk them out of suing “since I am also a loser”.

He insists that Ms Muthoni and others who invested in Velox were adults who knew what they were doing.

“The fact that my account was used for the transactions is no reason to blame me,” he told the court.

accessible.
Velox10.com is up for sale, under auction by an IT firm called BGroup.

The second one, veloxglobal.com, reads: “This webpage is parked for free”. An IT expert contacted said the message means the website was a dummy page and likely never existed.

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In January last year, a group of seven filed a case at the High Court seeking to stop Velox from operating in Kenya.

Mr Bernard Mulwa, Mr Joshua Obebo, Ms Nancy Kamau, Mr George Itabari, Mr Barnabas Mwangi, Mr Bernard Makira and Mr Stanslaus Mutua said they invested money into Velox but were worried that the firm was operating against what it was allowed to do: handling non- financial assets.

They added that Velox had no registered local shareholders or partners as required by the law.

The group also wanted CBK, Capital Markets Authority and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations ordered to take action against Velox and its founder.

“CBK and the CMA have failed in their licensing and regulatory duties by allowing Velox to continue its illegal activities within Kenya. They ought to be compelled to take legal action against the company,” they told the court.

However, they did not say how much they had invested in Velox.

The Flying Squad wrote to the court requesting for the filed documents, which it wanted to use in an extortion investigation.

Shortly before the seven filed the case, police officers arrested Mr Rocha after an investors meeting at the Hotel Intercontinental.

However, he was released shortly after.

Flying Squad deputy head Jackson Owino on Friday told the Nation that investigations into the scheme are ongoing.

Source: Daily Nation

 

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Africa

‘I love you plenty!’ Emmy Kosgei’s 62-year-old hubby showers her with love on 40th birthday

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Award-winning gospel artiste Emmy Kosgei has turned 40 years old.

The Taunet Nelel hitmaker is 22 years younger than her Nigerian pastor husband Anselm Madubuko.

The couple is so much in love and while celebrating her birthday, Emmy posted,

HELLO 40! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! WHAT SHALL I RENDER TO JEHOVAH!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Emmy Kosgei

The 62-year-old General Overseer of Revival Assembly Church penned a sweet message to his lifetime partner on her special day.

Happy birthday 🎂 🥳 🎉 my nubian Queen! I love u plenty! Keep increasing on all sides in Jesus love 💘

Emmy Kosgei

Check out birthday wishes from Emmy’s followers

terryannechebet Happiest Birthday my sister!!!! Welcome to the 4th floor!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

alicekamande 40 looks fab. Happy birthday Emmy , to many more blessed, fruitful years 🔥

joyceomondi Happy birthday beautiful!! ❤️

njeshqabbz Happy birthday @emmykosgei love the emerald green

mercymasikamuguro Happy birthday Madam Emmy💕

ladybee_254 Happy birthday siz🎂

annisiahgatwiri Happy Birthday Emmy n welcome to 4th floor

84123nk Happy birthday our sister may God bless every gift that he has purt in you and he continues to use you to do the work in Jesus name ❤️❤️

judietamira Happy Birthday jaber life begins at 40 be blessed

By Mpasho.co.ke

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Kenyan Netflix exec on producing during a pandemic and amplifying Africa’s creative potential

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan entertainment veteran and film producer Dorothy Ghettuba who is the head of Netflix’s African Original Programming has said she is keen on  amplifying Africa’s creative potential and producing during this pandemic.

Speaking to CNN in an exclusive interview, Ms. Ghettuba said even as the pandemic is throwing a lot of the plans off-kilter, she is finding good stories in Africa adding that this is the best time to find stories.

“What we are doing is we are betting forward. We haven’t slowed down. It’s been about me speaking to writers, looking at scripts, looking at stories and finding the best stories to tell out there,” she told CNN’s Eleni Giokos in a video interview.

Ms. Ghettuba also said she was happy that during this pandemic period there has been an uptick of  people streaming Netflix  to entertain them when they’re at home.

Asked how Netflix approaching content production during times of lockdown and a health crisis she said: I think this crisis has made everybody pause and now we really have to relook at how we produce. Productions take place in pretty intimate, high-touch environments with hundreds of artists, people and creators all together in close quarters. So for us in the short term, these practices will have to be changed.

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Ms Ghettuba also said Africa as a continent did not necessarily need to export its talent as they can be great even here in the continent by producing the best shows and having them watched all over the world.

Watch the video interview here

 

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Kenyan with big heart lines up for Sh10m Global Citizen Awards

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A Kenyan is among the 10 finalists in this year’s Waislitz Global Citizen Awards an award that seeks to celebrate individuals who make extraordinary contributions in the society.

Umra Omar is the founder of Safari Doctors, an organization that delivers primary medical care and health education by boat, air and land to Bajuni and Aweer communities in Lamu, Kenya.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes totalling Sh25 million ($250,000) that recognise the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty.

The grand prize is Sh10 million ($100,000) with three additional prizes for Sh5 million ($50,000) each, for a total of four prizes.

The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen.

“Ending extreme poverty is not a choice, it’s an obligation. My hope is that it will inspire many thousands of people around the world to do what they can to improve the living standards of those in dire need,” Chairman and Founder of the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation, Alex Waislitz, said.

Raised in Kenya, Omar had earned degrees from two prestigious American schools, completed graduate school and was working full-time in Washington, D.C. But she says cubicle life wasn’t for her; she was longing to return to her native country.

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Omar said she was compelled to come back because it was her town of origin, but also because she felt the desire to give back.

She had pursued a bachelor’s in neuroscience and psychology before completing her master’s degree in social justice in intercultural relations.

“I was so fortunate, to be given the scholarships and the opportunity I’ve had, being a woman, being from Kenya. You know, when you’ve been given the world, you have the give the world back,” she told Global Citizen in a phone interview.

In addition to the cash prizes, the four winners will be profiled in editorial pieces that will be featured on the Global Citizen platform and social media.

However, due to Covid-19, there will be no award ceremony in 2020.

In 2016, she was nominated for the year’s CNN Hero of the Year, an award that seeks to celebrate individuals who make extraordinary contributions in the society.

You can vote for her here; voting closes on Monday, July 20, 2020.

By NN

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