Flamboyant businessman Kelvin 'Sonko' charged in Sh151mn fraud

Kevin Sonko

Kelvin Onyango Otieno Sonko at the Milimani law courts where he was charged with forging mineral export documents.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti

Flamboyant businessman Kelvin Otieno Onyango alias Sonko has been charged in connection to a Sh151 million mineral fraud.

The accused was arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts and charged with making a document without authority which is contrary to section 357 (a) of the penal code.

The Kibra-born Sonko who shares flashy pictures on his social media accounts, was arrested on Thursday, February 22, at his office at China Wu Yi Plaza in Kilimani by sleuths attached to the Operation Support Unit (SOU) of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

A detective attached to DCI and privy to the ongoing investigations said the accused is believed to be linked to the network that defrauded a Chinese national.

"He is believed to know what happened at the time," said the detective, who spoke in confidence to the Nation.

Mr Sonko denied several counts including forging mineral export documents and was released on a Sh200,000 cash bail.

According to the police report, a businessman paid millions for containers of tantalum minerals he was told were from the Congo.

The containers were allegedly intercepted in Mombasa County and upon examination, officers found them to be soil.

It took the intervention of officials at the Mombasa port, who insisted that they wanted to check what the container was carrying, to make the discovery.

A DCI report indicated that the incident was linked to fake gold scammers who have been operating in Nairobi's Kilimani area using Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

During the bust, which took place on Thursday last week, ten people were arrested and later released.

Officers raided the offices after receiving information that the main suspect in the fake mineral deal was in Kevin's office.

Those caught with the flamboyant businessman were released.

If the main suspect in the deal was nabbed, it would lead to the arrest of other suspects, others even working within government agencies.

The DCI had launched investigations and intercepted the shipment at the Mombasa Container Terminal (MCT).