How Ukrainian was swindled Sh132 million in heart of the city

Kovalenko Hannadii(Photo:Anyango Otieno)

A Ukrainian national is fighting for justice after being conned millions of shillings in a fake gold scam.

Kovalenko Hennadii lost almost Sh132 million to fake gold scammers right in the heart of the city.

In October 2016, Hennadii and an acquaintance went to Kampala, Uganda where he was introduced to a gold dealer who hails from Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Hennadii, the dealer had 350kg gold nuggets and they agreed at a price of Sh3,088,500  ($30,000) for every kilogramme of gold. They signed a contract and made necessary arrangements to ship it to Dubai.

“In November we flew to Dubai, when we arrived we didn’t find the ‘consignment’. I returned to Uganda,” said Hennadii.

Spent money

All efforts to ship this ‘consignment’ failed after Hennadii had spent money to get a non-criminal certificate in Uganda and authorisations from DRC and Belgium.

This is when the dealer suggested to him to ship the gold through Kenya since according to the Ugandan, Kenya is an honest country and it will be easier to ship gold from there.

“On January 19, 2018, he brought me to a company based in Westland, where he introduced me to two managers. They said the firm had licence to export gold and they could make all the documents for shipping to Dubai,” he said.

He said he saw the consignment at their offices.

“We removed samples, melted them and took the gold for testing at Institute of Minerals and got the result. It was genuine gold,” said Hennadii.

An invoice of Sh59,132,500 ($591,325) was prepared but at the time, Hennadii had run out of money and had to go back to Ukraine to look for an investor.

In April 15, 2018, he came back to Nairobi with an investor, Vladimir Bodnarchuk and signed a contract with the company the next day. They were given 40kg of gold as collateral and it was kept under mutual custody of Vladimir Bodnarchuk and Afrisolutions.

“We fulfilled our obligations. I transferred Sh30,001,500 ($300,015) through a local bank and gave them Sh29,131,000 ($291,310) in cash,” said Hennadii, adding that the company promised to get them a UN certificate and documentation from the customs department by June 1, 2018. 

On June 15 he met with one of the managers of the company who promised to ship the gold in three days after he was paid Sh13,600,000 ($136,000) for an ICGRL certificate.

“But after about one week he failed to ship the consignment and said he needed additional Sh20,000,000 ($200000),” he said.

They returned to Ukraine at the end of August after they failed to resolve the matter.

In January 2019, they reported the matter at the DCI headquarters, but he did not get results.

In April, a team of detectives raided the firm and arrested some workers. The case is still ongoing at a Milimani court.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said they have acted on the matter and the case is in court.