Details of how Kenyan cartels have been using dirty tactics to illegally take over property belonging to wealthy foreigners have been revealed.
The cartel allegedly comprises crooked lawyers, police officers, land officers, and immigration officers and mainly targets aged foreigners and Kenyans of foreign descent who own property in the country, according to The Standard.
The scheme involves drafting of fake Wills, forged signatures and coaching of fake witnesses who are then used to obtain court orders for taking over property belonging to foreigners.
In some instances, the alliance uses international networks to make fake court orders which are then presented in Kenyan courts.
Last month, three Appellate Court Judges Alnashir Visram, Martha Koome, and A K Murgor stopped the takeover of Salama Beach Hotel in Watamu by an Italian Hans Jurgen Langer and his wife Zahra Langer from Isaac Rudrot.
The judges dismissed the case after establishing that the Italian couple used fake court orders issued by a court in Milan, Italy in a bid to evict Rudrot from the Sh1 billion property.
The court established that the Milan case number on the purported judgment was for another case that was yet to conclude.
In a separate case, Nairobi lawyer Guy Elms said there have been several attempts to illegally take over assets belonging to his client Roger Bryan Robson, who died on August 8th, 2012, aged 71.
Robson, who was originally from the United Kingdom, owned prime plots of land in Nairobi’s Karen and Upper Hill estates worth about Sh600 million today.
Elms said the businessman appointed him as his lawyer and gave him the power of attorney to execute his will. The deceased had no wife or children and his only relation was a brother, Michael Fairfax who is based in the UK.
After his death, a number of individuals emerged to claim ownership of his property and the matter is before courts.
One of the six claimants said he had purchased the property from Robson for Sh100 million in cash, Elms said.
Elms said he has been living in fear over Robson’s property. At one point, Elms was arrested and charged for allegedly forging Robson’s will but was later released after the State withdrew charges against him.
“I sometimes fear for my life. If I had known that I would be subjected to this when I agreed to be the executor of my client’s will, I would not have agreed. Now I have to make sure that his Will is followed. If I wanted the property for myself I would have sold it a long time ago,” Elms told The Standard.
In Nakuru, Sarah Joselyn, a 76-year-old British national said she was named as the sole beneficiary of the property left behind by the late Richard Ingram Crawford.
Crawford, who died in 2014, had written his Will in 2009. In 2017, a claimant emerged claiming to have purchased the land from Crawford before he died.
Early last year, Joselyn’s British Passport was confiscated by the police and has not been returned to date. She was arrested in January and charged with forging Crawford’s Will and was detained for a week before being freed.
In another case, former Laikipia East MP Anthony Mutahi is embroiled in a legal battle with a rancher and Kenyan-born, Stuart Cunningham over the 20-acre Thornlea Farm in Nanyuki. Stuart claims he bought the parcel in 1994 and wants the politician evicted.
The Standard established that police are currently trailing a cartel comprising Nairobi County Government and Ministry of Lands officials who fraudulently dispossessed five foreigners of their property in separate incidences.