Sex, fraud and a bike: Puzzling life of Briton who died in Diani with Kenyan lover
It was supposed to be a routine ride on a quad bike along the scenic coast of Diani in Kwale County.
But what started out as a leisure ride ended in tragedy when Briton Adam James Stagg and Kenyan woman Jackline Kendi died in a crash.
A police report said the bike hit a speed bump on Diani’s Beach Road at high speed, causing the rider to lose control of the bike and veer off the road, before crashing into a concrete wall. Stagg was pronounced dead at the scene.
But as investigations got under way, the authorities soon discovered that this was no ordinary person. He was one of the most wanted fugitives in the UK, having been previously arrested in the Philippines.
How had he managed to start a new life in Kenya, far away from the prying eyes of the authorities? And why had he chosen Diani, of all places? As the authorities delved deeper into the circumstances surrounding the man's death, they began to uncover a web of lies and deceit that stretched back many years.
In 2016, he was among the most wanted fugitives in the UK, investigations by Saturday Nation have revealed. According to UK media and intelligence reports, Stagg was in 2016 listed alongside nine others as the most wanted fraudsters in the UK.
He was accused of committing fraud between October 2013 and June 2014. The list was drawn up by City of London Police and the National Crime Agency as part of a crackdown on fraud.
It is believed he set up a string of companies trading from the Philippines offering customers in the UK deals on watches costing upwards of £100 (Sh13,913). His victims, alleged to be 140, reported they never received the watches and some claimed they were threatened when they tried to find out why.
A year later, Stagg would be arrested in the Philippines where he went to seek refuge. While there, he was reported to be enjoying a life of luxury, fully aware he was wanted by authorities for allegedly conning victims out of a total of £20,000 for luxury watches that were never delivered.
Unclear after arrest
It was not clear what happened after his arrest in the Philippines in 2017 or when he arrived in Kenya.
These are some of the gaps that detectives will be seeking to unravel.
In an email response, the United Kingdom National Crime Agency said: “We can’t provide updates on the status of wanted individuals when they’re wanted by a police force. From open source information, it appears he was previously on a most wanted list, but wanted by Avon & Somerset Police; therefore, it is best you contact them for any information.”
Close friends of Stagg confided in the Saturday Nation he had been in the country for the past two years. “He was mainly into the cryptocurrency business. Stagg loved a luxurious life," said one of them in an interview in Diani.
It is also believed Stagg came into the country as a tourist. Contacted for comment, his family asked for closure, noting he had been cleared of the charges and even jailed.
“People are talking about this … and it is quite unfortunate. That happened years ago, he was arrested and jailed for a year. When he was in England, police allowed him to come to Kenya. The embassy knew he was in the country … he even renewed his visa,” said his Kenyan wife, who declined to be named.
“If he was hiding in Kenya or was a criminal as people say, he would not be using his social media. But he had been online.”
“And he was not a suspect anymore. People should let him rest in peace,” said his wife.
Kwale police boss Josphat Kinyua said Kendi’s body is still preserved at the Msambweni Sub County Hospital mortuary as officers trace her family.
“Mr Stagg’s case is to be handled by the UK Embassy in Kenya …. No postmortem could be conducted until their next of kin or family/relatives okay it ... and for now, they are not available,” Mr Kinyua told the Nation.
The UK embassy in Kenya did not confirm or deny Stagg's case, only saying it is helping the family of the Briton who died in Kenya.
“We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Kenya and is in contact with the local authorities," the British High Commission said in an email response.
When Nation visited the hospital mortuary, the bodies of Kendi and Stagg were still there.
At the scene where the accident occurred blood stains were still visible a week later.
Flowers were also left behind by friends who visited the area as a condolence message.
Onlookers who were present on the day of the accident said Stagg was not a new face to them and has been using the particular road where the crash happened on a daily basis, during evening hours.
The two were popular figures within the area and were known to have spent most of their time at the Soul Breeze Resort in Diani.
Kendi’s videos, as posted on her social media platforms, reveal an outgoing person who loved to live her life to the fullest with a caption on her Tiktok page ‘Live your life for you and not for the world’.
A day before the accident, she had posted on Tiktok a video of her and the Briton enjoying a motorcycle ride on an unidentified beach.
Most of her TikTok videos showed the lovebirds on beaches. Other videos are of her dancing.