Baracuda Airways CEO John Majiwa is set to be arraigned in court on Monday after he was arrested for conning clients of over Sh200 million.
Majiwa was nabbed by flying squad officers on Saturday in the Nairobi CBD while heading to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Police believe Majiwa wanted to flee the country after being exposed for the alleged fraud.
John Majiwa arrested by flying squad on Saturday, February 25. The Star
According to flying squad officers, Majiwa had escaped their dragnet since Wednesday when the matter was first reported to them.
They said they detected his movements and trailed him for two days before he was arrested.
He was arrested along side four women and a man believed to be his accomplices.
John Majiwa, Stella Amaya and Elizabeth Wanjiru recong statement after they were arrested by flying squad on Saturday, February 25. The Star
The six were taken to Kilimani flying squad headquarters where they were interrogated before being taken to cells awaiting mention of their case tomorrow.
Among those who are arrested include a serving officer in the presidential escort, Stella Amaya, the company’s Finance director and Elizabeth Wanjiru director of BOD.
Majiwa who runs the airways is accused of fraudulently acquiring millions from over 40 investors.
Police say preliminary investigations have determined that Majiwa was using Deputy President Willam Ruto’s name and Mama Ngina Kenyatta to con the investors.
John Majiwa inside police vehicle after he was arrested by flying squad on Saturday, February 25. The Star
One of the investors who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity said she was introduced to Majiwa and Baracuda airways by her uncle.
“In September last year I was called for co-pilot interviews and was among six people who passed the interview,” she said.
According to her Majiwa asked them to pay Sh2.7 million each for them to attend a special training in South Africa.
“He told us DP Ruto and Mama Ngina had shares in the company. Being that my uncle introduced me to the company I had no doubt that it was a legit company, she said.
She said Majiwa was among those who conducted interviews at Weston hotel.
“We paid the cash on grounds that on completion of the training in SA we could ask for our claims after investors put in their money,” she said.
According to her, in October while in South Africa, Majiwa told them that Prince Rahim of Saudi Arabia had visited Kenya and promised to heavily invest in the airline and so he requested them to deposit some money on his account to activate it.
Majiwa told them that since the company had not officially opened an account, his account needed to be activated with a good amount to ease bank transactions.
“It is from here that we started sensing something wrong. All in all we did not deposit the money,” she said.
On completion of the training, they came back to Kenya and were promised to commence operations in December.
She added that after arriving from the training, Majiwa went missing and his phone switched off.
A sustained probe by herself and five other trainees revealed that Majiwa had recruited about 6 pilots and 30 cabin crew majority of whom had been sacked at Kenya Airways.
Majiwa promised the six prominent jobs within the company’s management to silence them after the fraud allegations were made public.
He started now using them to lure new recruits on board who were also paying huge sums of money on grounds that they would be sent to Dubai and Canada for training.
“I launched my own investigations and realized that the Baracuda Airways was a scam, it was previously branded as Baracuda holdings before the name was changed,” the trainee said.
“Further investigations pointed that Prince Rahim rejected the offer to invest in the company after he realized that the company had not acquired even a single plane,” she added.
She says that she and the other five trainees were issued with termination letters allegedly because word got back to Majiwa of their investigations into the company
The company reportedly has an air service license from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority which.
It is said Majiwa has powerful connections from prominent people in the government.
His connection led to him defrauding Weston Hotel owned by DP Ruto over 56 million after conducting a two weeks training for some of the cabin crew members.
By Saturday evening though Weston Hotel had not made an official statement.
Another hotel by the name Dove in Naivasha has also fallen a victim. Majiwa reportedly conducted several retreats at the place for his staff and issued them bouncing cheques.
Over 15 people had recorded their statement and issued critical evidence against Majiwa.