Wash Wash: Court Allows Fake Gold Fraudster Steve Okute’s Bank Safe To Be Forcefully Accessed By Detectives

The police have been authorised to open the sealed cash or till box in the presence of the politician Seth Steve Okute who is facing a Sh12.7 million gold scam.

The politician has been charged alongside businessman Bruno Otieno Orienda.

Magistrate allowed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to access the box.

The trial magistrate issued the order authorising DCI officer Gerald Kamwaro or any other officer under his instructions to open the box.

This is after the DCI obtained a search warrant to access, seize the content in the box to enable the police complete investigation into the matter.

Court also directed police to return personal items belonging to the accused persons which did not form part of evidence.

DCI filed a miscellaneous application seeking to be allowed to open the said box.

They also sought court orders for Okute to be present during the excercise to be carried out at the applicants offices at Old Nairobi Area and witness the opening/break TVing into the sealed cash till box containing unknown contents.

Detectives told the court that Okute was arrested on 3rd February 2023 within Nairobi County on suspicion of having committed an offence of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 393 of the Penal Code and susequently charged before court.

“The respondent(Seth Okute) is alleged to have received USD 100,000 in his account at 1&M Bank on 11th september, 2022 in a case reported by a complainant Marjorie Grant from USA through an email addressed to the DCI and booked at Capital Hill Police station vide OB No. 19/26/01/2023. Upon search during his arrest, several items were seized and an inventory done which included a blue coloured sealed cash/till box with unknown contents.

Okute was informed by the DCI to open the sealed cash/till box, but claimed he had misplaced the key and later alleged that it belongs to a customer. He has never availed himself.

Okute is alleged to have lured the complainant Marjorie Grant to his JKIA office to assist in the shipment of 33kgs of gold allegedly held at Nairobi customs offices from Burkina Faso.

The court heard that during arrest,Okute was requested to open the sealed cash box but declined and its suspected that the sealed box contain items used to hoodwink victims of Gold scams that it contain Gold or precious metals.

“I intend to subject the recovered contents if any, for further investigations and analysis to establish if an offence is commined depending on the nature of their examination,” detectives told the court.

Ukute and Orienda are accused of obtaining USD100,000, which is equivalent to Sh12.7 million from Marjorie R Grant.

The court heard that they committed the offence on November 9, 2022 at I&M Bank within Nairobi County with intent to defraud.

They obtained the millions by falsely pretending that Newsky’s Global Cargo Movers International ltd were in a position to pay custom duties for 33 kilograms of gold shipped from Burkina Faso, a fact they knew to be false.

Mr Brunoh Otieno Liende alias Oyugi and Steve Seth Okute.

Okute and Orienda are also charged with conspiracy to defraud after obtaining the money from Grant.

The accused are out after paying cash bail of Sh600,000 each and two contact person.

Hearing is scheduled for June.

Who is Steve Okute? A well-connected serial gold scammer

Steve Seth Okute has been on the radar and the hands of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) but always seems to find his way out.

He has been mentioned severally in gold scam dealings with the latest being him masterminding a KES 67.3 million scam.

Steve Seth Okute is among ten suspects arrested on Saturday for allegedly being involved in a fake gold scam.

The suspects, who include 8 Kenyans, 1 Indian, and 1 Greek citizen, are accused of defrauding two American citizens of $534,000 USD (KES 67.3 million).

According to DCI, the arrests took place in two separate raids in the city’s upmarket Kitusuru and Kilimani suburbs and followed a report by American-based investor Marjorie R. Grant living in Los Angeles, California.

Seth Steve Okuthe was arrested at his home in Kitisuru. DCI said that during the arrest, Okute was found in possession of a Baretta pistol loaded with 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Okute has been arrested for fraud. In 2020, Okute was among four suspects arrested by DCI sleuths for obtaining over KES 21 million from a Niger national.

Okute was named as the prime suspect accused of luring the victim to his Lux Cargo Group offices at Siginon Warehouse within JKIA, in a plot he termed as following up on the victim’s gold from Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

He and the three others obtained the said amount allegedly to expedite a rerouting process of the cargo to the desired destination, before disappearing and leaving the victim stranded.

In 2021, Okute was arrested again for allegedly defrauding an Italian preacher-turned-businessman out of KES 19.5 million.

Okute has run for Member of National Assembly seats in both the 2017 and 2022 elections, as evidenced through his Facebook page, albeit unsuccessfully.

Okute ran for Karachuonyo MP under the ODM ticket in the NASA coalition in 2017. In 2022, he ran for the same seat again, this time under the Azimio coalition.

According to DCI’s statements, Okute is linked to the cargo business with two distinct names mentioned, Lux Group incorporated in 2016 and NewSkys Global Cargo Movers incorporated in 2021.

Our sources say that Okute is a director in both companies.

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