Paul Kobia freed in Sh119m gold probe


Paul Kobia (right) with his lawyer Henry Kurauka in court on June 27, 2019. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG

Police have suffered a setback after a magistrate’s court ruled that there is no compelling evidence to detain businessman Paul Kobia and 13 others for two weeks to investigate them for alleged conning of a foreigner Sh119.8 million in a fake gold deal.

Magistrate Tobiko Sinkiyan said that Mr Kobia be freed on a cash bail of Sh 100,000 while the other 13 suspects whom he was arrested with on Wednesday, were each asked to pay a personal bond of the same amount.

Court heard that the 14 conned one Italiana Antonio Cianci who is a director of a Dubai-based company known as Iron & Steel DMCC that deals with buying and selling of gold.

The suspects allegedly lured Mr Cianci to a house on Riverside Drive while claiming that was where pure gold was available for sale.

The house is believed to be Mr Kobia’s residence where the deal was done on October 7, 2018.

Mr Cianci lost the said monies after being duped that he had bought genuine gold worth $1198,000.

Court was told that the police raided Mr Kobia’s residence following a tip-off where all the 14 suspects were arrested as well as several exhibits recovered.

It was Mr Kobia, the court was told, who dealt with Mr Cianci during the transaction with the help of other individuals who are considered to be part of his team but are yet to be arrested.

Police said Mr Kobia has been linked to many more fraudulent activities relating to fake gold and that there are many complainants coming up with several allegations as victims of scams from foreign countries.

Police also claimed the suspects would interfere with investigations if released, hurting the whole case.

“Investigation is 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,” State lawyers told the court.