When Ms Fahima Mohamed Shali was approached by her then son-in-law Fahmy Salim Said regarding an irresistible house purchase deal in 2019, she was elated.
The deal would have culminated in the purchase of a property that was worth Sh20 million.
Mr Salim, who was aware that his mother-in-law was looking for a home to buy, quickly proposed the property in Mombasa that was for sale.
“I told him that I would consider the property if it was being sold at less than Sh20 million,” Ms Shali told Shanzu Chief Magistrate Florence Macharia.
Days later, the woman and Mr Salim proceeded to the site in Nyali to view the property. Ms Shali told the court Mr Salim called a property agent and, after negotiations, an agreement was reached to buy it for Sh20 million. They agreed that any money would be deposited in the agent’s account held by his lawyer.
“I was to deposit Sh10 million then pay the remaining amount after every week till payment in full. I had the money and was ready to pay,” she said. However, Mr Salim advised her to deposit only Sh5 million and keep the other half for payment after a week. She was convinced and did exactly as advised not knowing Mr Salim had other plans.
Days later, before she could deposit the Sh5 million, Mr Salim visited and told her he had dropped a cheque of Sh5.5 million at their lawyer’s office.
“He told me to give him the Sh5 million in cash as he had an urgent matter to attend to outside the country. I trusted him so I gave him the money,” said the woman.
He allegedly explained to his mother-in-law that his account was dormant because the Kenya Revenue Authority had deactivated it. According to the woman, Salim told her that his account had Sh15 million.
After receiving the money, Salim proceeded on his journey.
“I went to the bank to deposit the cheques but they were rejected. I was told that the account was dormant,” she explained.
She quickly reached out to Salim, who assured her that the cheques will be accepted as soon as his account was reactivated.
Issues with KRA
“He said he had been having issues with KRA over a large amount of money in his account but assured me that he was sorting out the issue,” she said. When Mr Salim came back, the woman confronted him over the issue but he promised that it was being dealt with. He asked for a further Sh700, 000 to enable KRA to reactivate his account.
“He told me that KRA was demanding the money before activating his account,” she explained, adding that she gave him the money. Even after giving out this money, the woman explained that Salim failed to fulfil his promise but engaged her in a cut-and-mouse game.
They went to a lawyer, Mr Lawrence Obonyo to sign an agreement on how he was to refund the Sh5.5 million.
According to the agreement, the money was to be refunded in full by October 2019. It was here that Salim gave the woman six cheques in dollars but all bounced.
“Both DTB and Stanbic banks told me that Salim’s account was dormant,” she said, adding that Salim kept promising to refund her money until she got tired.
She reported the matter to the police and Salim was arrested and charged in a Shanzu court.
“All I want is to be paid back my money. I worked for it, I don't have any other issue with him,” said the woman, adding that Salim had separated with her daughter.
Salim’s lawyer Jared Magolo told court that his client didn’t owe the woman any money and that she was bitter because he had separated with her daughter.
“He doesn’t owe you anything. I want to tell you that you are bitter because of Salim’s failed relationship with your daughter,” said Magolo.
Ms Shali stuck to her testimony during the cross- examination, further disclosed that she has filed a civil suit to recover more than Sh6 million from Salim.
Salim is facing several counts of fraudulently obtaining more than Sh10 million and issuing bouncing cheques to a number of people including his mother-in-law. He has pleaded not guilty.
He is further accused of issuing bad cheques amounting to $9,999 to Ms Shali.
He is also accused of defrauding businessman Esmail Noor of four Samsung phones worth Sh420,000
He also allegedly conned Nabill Salim of Sh650,000 in a gypsum boards scam. The suspect is further accused of issuing bad cheques amounting to Sh690,000 to Khamis Salim.
Hearing continues on June 28.