Jared Otieno

Flamboyant businessman Jared Otieno will remain in custody for seven days to allow police to conclude their investigations.

Senior principal magistrate Paul Mayova allowed an application by the prosecution seeking to detain Otieno longer on grounds that he would interfere with investigations.

The prosecution had made an application seeking to detain the businessman for 14 days, but the magistrate said seven would be sufficient.

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The DCI in the application sworn by Felix Banzi said they are investigating Otieno for obtaining money by false pretence.

“The investigations are complex, diverse and we are looking at transnational organised crime where some of his accomplices could be in the neighbouring countries and the offences committed cuts across international borders,” the investigating officer said.

Banzi noted that between Feb 8 and Feb 25 a foreigner by the name Sounthorn Chanthavong, who deals with buying and selling of gold, is alleged to have been lured to a house situated on Kaptei Road.

“During the transaction, the said complainant lost Sh300 million after he was duped that the items he bought were genuine gold,” he said.

In a chat outside court, Otieno’s lawyer said the documents taken by police during the raid was a loan transaction, a claim they couldn’t back up.

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The detective said the accused is linked to many more fraudulent activities related to fake gold, with many more complainants who have come up and several allegations as victims of the scam are from foreign countries.

“Releasing him will jeopardise investigations owing to the seriousness of the case,” he said.

Otieno, through his lawyers led by Stanley Kang’ai, objected to the longer detention saying the application is not constitutional.

“The application is unconstitutional since there is no holding charge against the accused,” he argued.

The lawyer said Otieno is willing to cooperate with the investigating officers led by DCI boss George Kinoti.

“The suspect drove himself to the DCI headquarters at 5.30am after he heard rumours that he was being sought,” Kang’ai said.

Otieno said he has no state machinery to interfere with that kind of probe and that the request to have him detained for 14 days is “pure malice”.

“His place of abode is well known and the suspect is willing to shed light in the ongoing investigations. Such detention would be a limitation to his fundamental rights,” the lawyer said.

– The Star