Kenya: Deported Norwegian Fraudster Back in Nairobi

22 September 2020

A convicted Norwegian fraudster who had been deported from Kenya is back in the city "to testify" in a case in which he is accused of fraudulently selling multimillion-shilling properties in Nairobi's Riverside with forged documents.

Although the High Court had asked the Immigration Department to permit Roger Klinge Dyrnes into the country "only to the duration when he will be giving evidence", the Nation has established that he has been in the country for more than four months now.

When the Nation caught up with him, he was taking coffee in Nairobi and in the company of a man identified by our sources as Israel.

The Dyrnes case is intriguing since it will determine whether a "power of attorney" can be relied upon if it is determined it was based on a fictitious name.

Before the Interpol caught up with him in Nairobi, Dyrnes was in Kenya as a fugitive having escaped prosecution and changed his name to Roger Wilhelmsen.

He also possessed a Lithuanian passport under the name Orleg Orlov.

Tax evasion

Norwegian newspapers, which covered his capture in Kenya, said Dyrnes had escaped from his native Norway, where he had been accused of fraud, racketeering and tax evasion to the tune of over Nk 50 million, approximately Sh551 million. He had also conned several construction companies of millions of kroner through fictitious invoicing and VAT fraud. It was by using the Lithuanian passport that Dyrnes sold the property in Riverside, Nairobi said to belong to Rachel Njoki Nielsen.

While their relationship is described in court papers by Dyrnes as a "girlfriend" and by Njoki as "friend", the latter says that the Norwegian man used a forged special power of attorney to sell some of her properties in Riverside for Sh40 million while she was in Norway.

"The plaintiff avers that the alleged power of attorney, if any, is a forgery and therefore illegal, null, and void in law and fact," says Ms Njoki's lawyer in a signed affidavit.

She says she does not know Dyrnes by the name Orlov Oleg, the name used to transfer her properties to some buyers.

Dyrnes was deported from Kenya under the orders of former Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph ole Lenku on May 21, 2014, who declared him persona non grata since Kenya did not have an extradition treaty with Norway.

Deported to Norway

By the time he was being deported, Dyrnes had allegedly sold and transferred several properties owned by Ms Njoki. However, some properties owned by Executive Kiritu Investments Limited whose shareholders were Ms Njoki (1,000 shares) and a relative Faith Waithera (1 share), are yet to be transferred though they have been sold using some forged documents.

It has emerged from court records that Ms Waithera, Dyrnes and Ms Njoki were not strangers. Norwegian papers claimed that after Dyrnes escaped from Norway, he invested some of his stolen cash in Kenya. Whether there is a connection between the properties he bought and Ms Njoki will only emerge in court.

Also brought into the picture is a local bank which is said to have released titles for three houses to the Norwegian fraudster and through a Nairobi law firm.

But while the fraud was reported to Kileleshwa and Kilimani police stations, the Norwegian managed to have the Lands Department transfer the properties as the police dilly-dallied with investigations.

Why the Registrar of Titles issued a provisional title for LR 7275/105 applied for by 'Oleg Orlov' and when the original was still with Ms Njoki will be another matter before the court.

'Oleg Orlov' had written to the Commissioner of Lands seeking a provisional title on account that the original could not be traced, and he also registered the power of attorney.

Transfer documents

While Ms Njoki claims in court papers that she did not sign any power of attorney to "Oleg Orlov" allegedly executed before C.P. Onono Advocates, the matter will put on the spot another Nairobi advocate, Peter Ongori, who apparently signed the sale agreement and transfer documents. But Sidian Bank, which advanced Sh 19 million to a client to purchase one of the properties in Riverside, says in a replying affidavit that "the allegation by the plaintiff that she did not sign the power of attorney is frivolous and spurious."

A forensic report signed by Emanuel Kenga seemed to close the police investigations after they concluded that "there are similarities" in the signatures of Ms Njoki in both her passport and the power of attorney.

In her previous complaint to police, Ms Njoki says she was not involved in the event that led to the examination of her signatures.

"It is highly unusual and irregular for a confidential police document to be addressed to a suspect in crime," wrote Ms Njoki's lawyer in court documents.

"Our client was the registered owner of the subject properties and no one else, not even a lawful husband, has a right in law to deal with the properties using a forged document without our client's consent."

At the moment, the man who once walked in the streets of Nairobi with three names appears to be back after finishing his sentence and ostensibly to testify.

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