Kenya: Revealed - Fake Magistrate is Not a Registered Citizen

27 October 2021

The man accused of conning dozens of people while masquerading as a magistrate is not a registered Kenyan citizen, it has emerged.

Sleuths investigating how Mr Victor Kiprono Ng'eno managed to swindle Kenyans for over four years say his fingerprints do not match any biometric data at the registrar of persons.

This means that the government has no record of who the man facing charges of impersonation and fraud is, because he has never registered for any identification documents like an ID or a passport.

Opposing the suspect's request for bond, the prosecution, through an affidavit sworn by Police Inspector Elias Baya, told the court that Mr Ng'eno is a dangerous man whose identity cannot be established.

The court heard that the man has no ID card and that the registrar of persons could not find any record of his biometrics.

"He is unknown to the Republic of Kenya which makes him a very dangerous human being... If released, he might continue committing offences as well as metamorphose into somebody else or simply evaporate," the application says.

Prosecutors told the court that the suspect used his wife, Ms Mercy Chepkirui, to register his mobile phone number, his car's ownership details and to run his illegal business. Ms Chepkirui is also charged alongside him and was in court with their baby on Tuesday.

The couple were jointly charged before Principal Magistrate Isaac Orenge with obtaining money by false pretence on diverse dates between 2019 and 2021.

The court heard that the duo conned at least eight people of different amounts of money totalling to Sh6.5 million.

Mr Ng'eno also faced separate charges of impersonating a judicial officer and making fake forms purporting to be from the Judicial Service Commission and the Law Society of Kenya.

He is also alleged to have masqueraded as a brother of the Devolution Cabinet Secretary while purporting to have connections to help his victims secure employment.

Prosecutors told the court that the suspect's life was at risk as the people that he had conned were baying for his blood.

Supporting the State's application, lawyer Kipkoech Ngetich, for LSK, the Judiciary and some of the complainants, said the activities of the suspect were a threat to the delivery of justice.

But he urged the court to also impose stringent bond terms on Mr Ng'eno's wife.

"The allegations against the suspect are too serious to be treated casually. If allowed out on bond, he is likely to interfere with investigations or vanish, considering his unknown identity," Mr Kipkoech said.

The application was, however, opposed by the suspect's lawyer, Mr Kipkemboi Sirma, who said his client has a right to bond as he is innocent until proven guilty.

The magistrate freed Ms Chepkirui on Sh1 million bond with a similar surety or Sh300,000 cash bail.

He directed that Mr Ng'eno be held by the police pending his ruling on Tuesday next week.

Wanted in Kericho and Eldoret

At the same time, detectives from Kericho and Eldoret moved to court seeking to have the suspect escorted to those jurisdictions to answer charges of impersonation and obtaining money by false pretence.

In the application filed by Senior Sergeant Dalmas Owuor, police claim Mr Ng'eno is suspected to have conned residents in Kericho while masquerading as a magistrate in an incident reported on August 17.

Sergeant Owuor told the court that he intends to conduct an identification parade of the suspect whose witnesses are college students.

"Requesting the court that he be ordered to be escorted to Kericho Police Station, where am yet to complete investigations before arraigning him in court," he said.

Mr Ng'eno, who was arrested by police in Nakuru, has been in custody for the past two weeks.

His arrest followed a year-long manhunt by police after complaints.

Police allege he conned a resident named Samuel Soi of Sh1.6 million while pretending to be in a position to help his children secure employment with the Judiciary.

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