Taxi driver pleads guilty to unlawfully obtaining COVID-19 certificates for tourists
A taxi driver who operates within the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining COVID-19 certificates for tourists.
Vincent Nzola Mutuku is to pay a fine of Ksh. 10,000 or serve three months in jail.
“On the 3rd day of April 2021, at Amref Medical centre, Wilson Airport within Nairobi County, jointly with others not before court, conspired to commit a misdemeanor namely personation in order to obtain COVID-19 certificates for five Belarusian nationals namely (1) Maria Kapelevich; (2) Alexander Kapelevich (3) Volha Mukha (4) Lidziya Smirnova and (5) Pavel Germanovich,” court papers read.
The travel agent for the tourists is said to have contacted Mutuku to enable the tourists get the COVID-19 certificates.
He was asked to make a booking with Amref clinic and copies of the tourists’ passports were sent to him.
“The agent organised for a test at Lancet Kenya where the five were tested and issued with the certificates to enable them travel. The accused however went back to Amref to have the money refunded and further informed the personnel at Amref to cancel…,” the court was told.
He was not issued with the refund hence decided to get other people to be tested using the tourists’ forms.
Mutuku managed to get five other people and took them to Amref for testing; however, the Amref staff realised something was amiss since the parties who presented themselves appeared to be of African descent. In the process, the five people disappeared living the accused alone to answer for his crime.
The defense team told the court that: “The five persons of African descent were taken in an honest attempt to utilise the funds which he had paid from his own pocket on the account of the five tourists when he knew that Amref would not refund him the cash.”
“He is a church goer …a first time offender,” his lawyer added.
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