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3 individuals linked to 20-acre land fraud arraigned in Eldoret

Three individuals at the centre of a 20-acre land tussle have been arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court in Eldoret.

According to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) the three Paul Kirwa Samoei, Julius Kipkosgei Ruto and Tamar Cheptoo Birgen were arraigned after investigations established that they used a forged title deed to file an application before court, thereby obtaining an eviction order used to evict genuine land owners on October 7, 2022.

DCI noted that four victims who are the complainants lost their 20-acre piece of land which they had occupied since 2001 to the three suspects said to have forged a title deed to acquire an eviction notice.

Tamara Cheptoo Birgen, one of the suspects in the land fraud case. PHOTO/@DCI_Kenya/X

The contested land is located in the Ngeria area of the Kapseret constituency in Uasin Gishu County.

“Investigation were initiated following a letter received at the DCI headquarters on January 31, 2024, from the affected landowners. The letter requested an inquiry into the suspicious acquisition of a title deed on their land, which was registered as PIONEER/NGERIA BLOCK 1(EATEC)/1980. However, the genuine victims claimed to have purchased the same land from East African Tanning Extract Company Limited (EATEC) in 2001,” DCI’s statement read in part.

“Painstaking investigations revealed that the Ministry of Lands did not issue the title deed used by the fraudsters. Furthermore, the title deed was not printed by Government Printers, and no records of its issuance were found in the land registry presentation book,” it added.

Paul Kirwa, a suspect in land fraud case. PHOTO/ @DCI_Kenya/X
Paul Kirwa, a suspect in land fraud case. PHOTO/ @DCI_Kenya/X

The investigations into the matter were conducted by Land Fraud Investigations Unit (LFIU) detectives from DCI Headquarters.

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Other forged documents

The specialised unit from DCI Headquarters who were dispatched to investigate the matter further established that the green card for the land was not serialized, as it was not captured in the Uasin Gishu County land registry data.

Additionally, DCI noted the examiner’s report indicated that stamps and signatures on an acknowledgement note showing payment for the land to the late Mark Too in the presence of advocate Paul Birech had been forged.

With the evidence presented in court, seven counts had been labelled against the three suspects.

They however pleaded not guilty and were released on a Ksh500,000 bond. The pretrial has been scheduled for July 22, 2024, at Eldoret’s court number five.

 

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