Kenyan Businessman Swindled More than Ksh 500,000 by Swedish Businessman
Kenyan believed in Europeans and delivered goods before payment
A Swedish businessman has allegedly swindled a Kenyan businessman more than half a million Kenyan shillings in a business-gone-sour deal. Claes Engberg, a resident of Båstad municipality in Sweden, has allegedly refused to pay Mr. Hezton Kamau a total of USD$ 6,480 (SEK 41,902) after Mr. Kamau delivered fishing flies which his company, Katherter Technologies, manufactures mainly for the European, American and Scandinavian markets.
According to Mr. Kamau, he met Mr. Claes through an advertisement the Kenyan made for his company at the Alibaba website. Following the advert, Claes sent Kamau an email seeking to discuss business.
Kamau told KSB that, “he emailed me and introduced himself, we exchanged communication regarding doing business together and drew up a contract. Being a newcomer to deals with Swedish nationals I agreed that I would send the fish flies then receive payments after sending the goods”.
For beginners, fish flies are used for sport fishing and are usually attached to the hook as a bait to lure fish in water. According to Kamau, his Company manufactures fishing hooks “and add bodies onto the fishing hooks to imitate a insects and other small baits like beetle, grasshoppers, small fish etc”.
To seal the deal, an agreement between the two businessmen was drawn and duly signed by the two parties. It stated in part that “This agreement is made and entered into by and between the parties concerned on 15.12.2011 in Sweden and Kenya on the basis of equality and mutual benefit to develop business on terms and conditions mutually upon as follows…”.
The agreement then went on to detail the intricacies of the business after which Kamau got to work in what he viewed as his biggest contract ever since he went into the fish fly making business. The fact that demand was coming from Sweden was very positive because he knew that payment wouldn’t be a problem since he trusted Europeans and believed that no European would swindle a struggling businessman in Africa, more so, Kenya where President Barack Obama comes from.
To ensure that everything went smoothly, Kamau accepted to be paid only after he had delivered the goods. It was the first time he was dealing with a Swedish national and he was very determined to prove that he could deliver high quality goods since he believed that once he convinced his Swedish partner about his reliability, payment would be no problem. However, matters took a dramatic turn-around because as soon as Kamau delivered goods worth more than half a million Kenyan shillings, Claes vanished into thin air, never to be seen again.
As Kamau got to work, some fish-fly making materials were missing in Kenya and Claes readily agreed to acquire them from a Company in the United Kingdom called Veniard. Kamau told KSB that some of the most expensive materials used in the production of the fish flies could only be found in Kenya and consequently, he purchased them. The Kenyan said that according to an agreement with Claes, the Swede would deduct any monies he used in the purchase of materials from Veniard from Kamau’s final payment and that the deductions would clearly be documented. The agreement on the payment stated that:
“The price for each individual transaction shall be fixed through negotiations between party A and party B and subject to party A’s final confirmation. The first payment will be 50% within 30 days after delivery and the second payment 50% will be within 60 days after delivery. Payment shall be through T/T i.e Telegraphic Transfer. Prices will not rise more than 6% per year”.
Once Kamau accumulated enough invoices, he said that he “sent him and asked him kindly to advance the funds so that I could keep the factory running and get my well-deserved monetary benefit”.
The Kenyan added that “he emailed me on July 28th 2012 and promised to send me between USD3000 – USD4000. By the end of the following week, he had not paid a single coin and when I tried to contact him, he dismissed me buy saying that he is taking his family for a holiday”.
“When I later tried to push him to advance me the funds, he said that he is the one who bought materials! My question to him was: what about the costs I had incurred in buying extra materials, courier charges, import duty for the materials, payment of my staff, payment of the factory rent and other overheads? He then cut out all communication”, a bitter Kamau told KSB.
Further, Kamau told KSB that Claes also never paid Veniard their full dues and that the company is also looking for him to pay up his bills. At the Swedish Registration of Companies, Claes’ company, which bears his name as Company name, is listed as “inactive”.
Kamau’s problem is that all of Claes’ friends whom the Swede introduced to him through mail are no longer taking his phone calls while Claes has himself disappeared. Kamau is appealing for help from anybody who may know the whereabouts of Claes to get in touch with him through KSB so that the Swede can be made to pay his bills. Kamau says that he has all the documents related to the business including all contracts and agreements, all vouchers he sent to Claes, all courier receipts together with a copy of Claes Swedish Passport which he obtained from the Swede to confirm his Identity before he entered into business with him.