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Corporate Fraud

Conning job seekers: Where did the case of Baracuda Airways go?

John Odhiambo Majiwa, Elizabeth Wanjiku Kinyanjui, Stella Ivy Amaya and Barbara Modani Alwena of Baracuda Airways at the Milimani Law Courts on February 27, 2017 where they were charged with fraudulently receiving Sh9.7 million from several complainants alleging that they would offer them training as pilot and crew members. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

In times of crisis, depression and desperation such as this (with the COVID-19 Pandemic), many Kenyans finding themselves out luck can be easily duped by fraudsters.

Times are hard and thus fraudulent people are more savage in their schemes especially when it comes to job hunting.

A screenshot narrating how a man conned several people who wanted to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a job has gone viral.

Its authenticity cannot be established but in short it tells how a travel agent lied to job seekers to pay for a job in Dubai, on the day of travel, took them to JKIA, lied to them about poor weather that forced the flight to be taken at Wilson Airport, they boarded and landed in Eldoret. Meanwhile, he had conned them hundreds of thousands.

It sounds like fiction, but in Kenya such a thing happened.

Baracuda Airlines

In February 2017, a chief executive officer and four employees of an airways company appeared in court for allegedly cheating jobseekers of Sh9.7 million.

The five were accused of cheating the job seekers that they would taken for training as pilots and cabin crew in South Africa and Dubai.

Mr Kimeria Boddie Maina, the CEO of Baracuda Airways Holdings Limited, his two directors John Odhiambo Majiwa and Elizabeth Wanjiku Kinyanjui were produced before a Nairobi resident magistrate Ms Tobiko N Sinkiyian.

CEO of Baracuda Airways Holdings Limited, Kimeria Boddie Maina,

They were also accompanied by two other Baracuda employees, Stellah Ivy Amaya and Barbra Modani Alwena.

The court later froze the firms accounts.

One of the fraudsters, Majiwa was arrested at JKIA trying to flee the country.

By some accounts, they had conned Kenyans over Sh200 million in total.

Viral screenshot narrating a con job involving an overseas job. This might be fictional but it happened with Baracuda Airways

Other victims

It not only just ordinary Kenyans who were conned by majiwa; he reportedly defrauded Weston Hotel, owned by the Deputy President William Ruto, of over Sh56 million after conducting a two-weeks training session for some of the cabin crew members.

Another hotel by the name Dove in Naivasha also reportedly fell victim, after he issued them with bouncing cheques.

But, by March, CEO Boddie had turned state witness against his staff.

Where is this case? How is it going? Were the fraudsters brought to book?


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