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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

How I lost car, Sh. 300,000 to con woman who sold it to me without papers

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Car Scams in Nairobi: A man identified as Mwangi Isaac has narrated how he was conned Sh. 300,000 by his neighbour. The man narrated that he and his lady neighbour had entered into a car sale deal on a gentleman’s agreement. However, after paying Sh. 300,000, he lost both the car and the money to the lady.

This is what he said:

“For a while I have toyed with the idea of posting my story here, but was afraid of the kind of reaction it would garner, the cajoles, sneers or ridicules. Anyhow, it is in the past and these events may be a lesson to someone else out there.

There was a Subaru Impreza GH2, a clean 2008 model sport(ish), always parked at the gate where I resided. I am a lover of cars, my friends can attest to that…naturally, it attracts me and I desire it. By this time, the sociable me has become acquainted with our caretaker, a fine gentleman in his prime who informs me that the car belongs to my neighbor residing on the second floor, same building.

Car Scams in Nairobi

Now, it happens that the said neighbor, a lady (God bless our women) has another car, a fine Subaru Forester, I misremember whether it is an XT of Sg5, but that is a non-issue for now.

It’s one afternoon and this lady rides in on her beautiful Forester, I approach her and sheepishly ask if she would sell me the Impreza as she rarely used it. Jokingly, she asks me how much I was willing to part with to which I retort I would be comfortable with a cool 500k. She then adds that she had some emotional attachment to the car and would not let go off easily but she would give it a thought someday. I have not a single dime on me by then so I do not push the idea.

Many sunsets after, precisely 2 (or 3) months later, relaxing at the gate, the lady in question arrives, finds me at the gate, pointing at her Impreza she asks me
‘Ulisemaje kuhusu gari?’
Wait, what! my heart jolted a little.
‘Si nilikushow ukiwa ready kuidispose unishow tuongee biashara…’ I respond.

‘Wee, si eti nataka kuidispose, but kuna pressing issue flani inaweza fanya nipatiane hii gari, si nilikushow nakuwanga attached to this car? Ni vile tu sipendi kutembea nayo juu iko low na place yenye mimi hufanya job parking iko underground na huwa inagwarwo sana.’

I told her that I like low cars… Which is true, the lower it is, the stablier(sp) it feels during those adrenaline filled highspeed runs.
“Uko ready nikupatie hii gari?”
Wait…What! I was born ready mamii.
“Wah, wah, wah… Saa hii sina pesa but if you give me a few days, maybe a week nitakupea jibu poa” I retort.
She continues “But kuna kitu nataka kukushow, hii gari imenisaidia sana kwa bishara yangu…you know, mimi huchukua overdrafts nikitumia logbook yake, the kind of overdraft mimi huchukua inaitwa revolving overdraft.”

She tells me that she has 3 more months to settle her current overdraft and something had come up, she needed some cash urgently. We settled that she was to sell me the car at 600k.

Car Scams in Nairobi

But since she did not have the papers (logbook) at that moment, I should settle half the price, take the car and use it for the next 3 months as she sorts out her bank issues, then after the lapse of the 3 months, somewhere between January and February of the following year, we should meet up, sign transfer documents, settle the remaining amount and be done with. Sounds like a good deal, right? Wrong…

“Sheila si bas tuchore agreement juu ya hiyo story, nikutaftie pesa within the week alafu deal ikuwe ndio hivyo, nitawait the 3 months ndio tumalizane.”
She responded, “Hapa ndio story yote iko, nataka tufanye hii story yote na trust. Sisi ni neighbors na mimi naogopa kupoteza gari, unaweza tumia hiyo agreement kwenda kuchange stuff alafu benki wanikujie…siezi imagine nikichotwa gari”

“Mimi hata ndio naogopa upotee na pesa, mimi haja yangu ni gari, sina issue na maneno mob, na tena hiyo span ya 3 months umenipea itakuwa poa juu sitafinyika nikitafta the whole amount” I told her.

Story short, we cut the deal on mutual trust(big mistake) as neighbors, within the week I had the 300K and I deposited a bankers cheque into her account( see deposit slip attached).

I took the keys (a pair) and the car. I was the happiest guy on planet earth. I recall I took the car on a rainy morning and I spent the whole day cleaning and drying it. The insurance was expired but I knew I would get some 3rd party insurance the same week. She called me and asked that I buy a Comprehensive insurance as the bank demanded that. By then I did not have any cash on me but after a few days I raised 20k for insurance and sent it to her, told her that since I would not be in a position yo make claim if anything was to happen to the car, we should share the insurance fee of 40k.

During the December holidays same year, she asked me to deliver the car to her for some evaluation by the bank, it would only take an hour or so, she promised.
The naive me took the car to her and went to work comfortably, 6 hours later, she hadn’t brought the car back. 24 hours later, still no car. I went to her place of work, Queensway Plaza, off Kimathi street where she used to run a Tours and Travel Agency called Greenbay Travels now on International House 10th Floor.

She demanded that if I wanted the car back, I should pay the remaining insurance fee immediately… Kindly note that it was during the holidays, two days to Christmas and whatever I had was planned for traveling and stuff. I made a promise to send the balance immediately after the festivities. On that day I remember telling her telling me “Hata ukienda police, eti nimekataa na gari, nawaambia wakule 100k na mimi nakula the rest na story yako inapotelea”

3 months later, she informed me she had renewed the overdraft, six months later, same story. She instead started demanding that I pay the remaining amount so that she can add her some other amount and buy a car whose logbook she will exchange with the one at the bank and give it to me.

By then I had started being so uncomfortable with her, my conscience showed me that she was upto no good. She was planning something sinister. She started ignoring my messages and calls.

Come December 2018, started taking a friendly approach and would call to tell me that we should now clear the deal, kindly note the issue had dragged through a whole year, I was weary and wanted it to be done with, had already sought for a buyer of the car in anticipation, I mean, I wanted to sell it immediately it was transferred to me and buy another vehicle immediately.

One day, she calls me and tells me that she has no more overdraft and wants the bank to do final evaluation on the car (stupid me). She asked me to inform her immediately I paid the insurance fee, I went to the insurance company, paid half insurance fee, was given a letter to take to Regent valuers for valuation.

On learning that, she informed me that she would send her driver to come collect the car and return it within the hour. The driver came, took my car with all my stuff inside and that was the last time I saw the car to date. My 300k plus the car Kaput! She sold the car immediately to another person.

I have followed it up with police in vain, whenever she was summoned, she did not appear and made a habit of going on a different date than the day we were supposed to appear at the police. I have an OB from Buruburu police station(attached). Attached also find search results for the current owner and the photos of the car.

Whenever I ask for my money, she comes up with malicious allegations that leave me dumbfounded. I used to be harassed by some guys she hired and now she uses the police. She has made it a habit of coming to my place of work with policemen threatening to arrest me and take me to court for allegations such as “Indecent assault and causing bodily harm” and on another occasion “Threat to life and damage to property” allegations. They told me that if I do not want the charges to be pressed against me, I must do away with the car case and never ask for the refund, otherwise I will be “Arrested and lose my job.”

As a final blow, I was made to write a statement that I will not pursue the case of the car any further so that the charges can be dropped.
Now, how can I be assisted? Is there any form of justice?
I know I was naive not to draw an agreement in the first place, but I believe that Safaricom has all our communication and the DCI should be able to solve this case…. Ama mnaonaje?”

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