Vivienne Angella Chebet was in a relationship with SK Mbuga years before she allegedly defrauded Hillar Sten Heinsoo, an elderly Swedish businessman of over Shs20b, Watchdog Uganda has learnt.
Heinsoo lost his job as financial advisor and account signatory of Erinar Matsson AB, a family-owned company after he siphoned Kr26,200,000 (Shs9.7b), Kr19,500,000 (Shs7.2b) and Kr1,100,000 (Shs411m) from the accounts belonging to his bosses – Marriane Anders and Stefan Rank.
This is the money, on top of his personal money that he sent to account numbers owned by Vivienne/Angella Chebet, a one Muhamad Mbabali and a briefcase company fully owned by Mbuga called SkyCargo Net and Security between March 30, 2015 and November 10, 2016.
According to documents from the Stockholm City Court, Heinsoo started working with the company as Chief Financial Officer on March 15, 1990 having signed an employment contract on December 12, 1989.
His duties varied over the 27 years he worked with the firm.
He and Chebet met in 2012 in connection with a church conference to be held the next year. He was a delegate while she was a personal assistant of another delegate.
“They talked in the breaks and a liking arose for each other. They decided to meet and a few weeks later they met at a restaurant,” the document reads in part.
It was at one of the dinners in 2012 that she mentioned that she had an eight-year-old son and asked whether that bothered him.
In separate documents seen by Watchdog Uganda, Chebet’s Swedish passport number 89090288, due to expire on December 2, 2019, lists her date of birth as July 25, 1984.
This means that she gave birth to the said son aged 20 in 2004 but did not disclose the father’s identity.
It is believed she hid quite a number of things from Heinsoo, including the fact that she was already in a relationship with SK Mbuga, whom she introduced as a brother.
Even when they travelled to Uganda in 2013 for 14 days, she introduced Heinsoo to most of her siblings from her mother’s side as well as her mother.
“It is believed that he was interested in whether there were any opinions regarding the age difference between them but that was not the case as long as everyone was happy. Their relationship developed over the years 2012 – 14 and a bit in 2015 when she announced that her father was ill with cancer,” court documents show.
“During his stay in Uganda, he never met her father because according to Chebet, he never wanted her to socialise with a white man. In connection with this, Chebet showed Heinsoo a picture of a very ill man on her phone who was supposedly the father.”
This is when the demand for money began.
“At first it concerned smaller amounts for her fathers’ cancer medicine. Eventually he found out that the father had died and a funeral already held,” he testified.
Enter gold scam
Following the death of her father, Chebet then let Heinsoo know that she had ‘inherited a little family gold’ and that the ‘funeral guests had given her some gold’.
Some of the first pictures she sent showed nuggets.
“After the first lot, 140 kgs of gold was added that was said to have belonged to some of her uncles who lived in the DR Congo where there was a lot of gold financed rebel activity,” court heard.
Chebet had been given the task of taking the gold to Sweden and selling it there thus she needed to borrow money for the transport.
That’s when the company called Sky Cargo came up.
“He conducted checks of the company and everything looked very professional,” Stockholm City Court heard. “One could even follow where the goods were. He did not understand that it was fake. Chebet vouched for the company and said she had been to their offices and made contact with two employees in particular – Edward something and Sulaiman Mbuga and a Muhamad Mbabaali.”
Court also heard that in the beginning he invested his own money in the loans to Chebet and Sky Cargo to a tune of about Kr6.5m (Shs2.4billion).
However this did not resolve the delivery and costs arose for new licences, new export permits, insurance, storage etc. These monies did not seem unreasonable seeing that it was calculated as percentages of the value of goods.
Chebet, Mbuga and Sky Cargo then ran into problem after problem with Chebet saying that at one point her passport was confiscated and that she had been detained in Doha, Dubai and Nairobi.
Similarly, Mbabali, who was to make sure he delivers the gold to Heinsoo also ended up in prison in the Netherlands because ‘he had made a blunder upon the import there’.
“Heinsoo was won out and not thinking clearly. He did not see the individuals, just money in the strive to reach closure and pay back everything as soon as the goods arrived. He perceived it as if he had a love relationship with Chebet. In any case she played along.”
It is believed that during the years 2012-16, they met a few times a week when she was in Sweden.
“He did not know that she was married, nor that she was pregnant. He did not meet her when the pregnancy was visible. He never perceived Chebet had any personal relationship with any one in Sky Cargo. Now he is certain that ‘Mr Edward’ was indeed Mbuga,” Court was told.
This argument is backed by a Financial Intelligence Authority report dated February 28, 2018 which says, “ From our analysis, the following has been observed; Chebet was already in a relations with Sulaiman Mbuga before meeting Stein Heinsoo. Chebet was an employee of Sky Cargo Net and Security Ltd. This was not disclosed to Heinsoo.”
Heinsoo got to know Chebet was not the love of his life when he was shown a picture of Chebet as a bride (in November 2016) during a police interrogation, that he understood that he had been duped and deceived.
Interesting, the weeding came a fortnight after Mbuga’s Sky Cargo account was credited with Kr749,908, about Shs279m, the last of Shs23billion received starting on March 30, 2015.
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