Land fraudsters sentenced to 3 years in jail

Land fraudsters sentenced to 3 years in jail

Three people have been sentenced to three years in jail by a Nanyuki court for defrauding a welfare group of Ksh.1 million by pretending they were in a position to sell a piece land.

Patrick Kariuki Wanjugu, Margaret Waithira Fure alias Margaret Wanjugu Muthui and Rose Nyawira Kihiri had been charged with obtaining money by false pretense.

The charges state that on May 10, 2016 at Matanya area, Laikipia County they jointly obtained Ksh.1 million from Namawi self-help group in false pretense by claiming that they were in a position to sell 1.4 hectare piece of land belonging to Margaret Wanjugu Muthui.

Waithira was facing counts of personification as the owner of the land and falsely signing agreement and transfer documents.

Though they had all pleaded not guilty to the charges, Chief Magistrate Lucy Mutai found that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused falsely obtained the money.

According to Julius Nyagito, one of the group officials, on the material day, they were informed of the said land being sold. Together with two officials, Jane Wamwitha and Isaac Manyinsa organised a meeting with the purported land owners.

Waithira introduced herself as Wanjugu, Kariuki as her son and Nyawira as her daughter before producing a title deed for the land.

After negotiations, the parties settled at Sh.1 million and Waithira signed agreement and transfer documents.

Three days later, Wamwitha was informed that the accused were not the real owners of the land and they reported matter at Matanya police station and the accused were arrested.

While testifying, Catherine Nyaga, Land Registrar told the court the land in question was initially owned by the government but was transferred to Wanjugu, however it is under caution as the land is under investigation by Criminal Investigation Department.

In her ruling, Ms Mutai said the offence requires severe punishment to deter other offenders from engaging in such criminal activity.

She sentenced each to serve three years in jail for falsely obtaining money, while Waithira was also sentenced an additional one year for personification and signing documents; the sentences will run concurrently.

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Laikipia County. Nanyuki Chief Magistrate Lucy Mutai Land Fraudsters title deed transfer documents

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