Hillar Sten Heinsoo was blinded by love as he transferred billions of shillings to Vivienne Angella Chebet and SK Mbuga between March 30, 2015 and November 10, 2016.
Chebet and Heinsoo met in 2012 in connection with a church conference in Sweden he was to speak at. A few dates and diners later, the two began a sexual relationship.
Unknown to him, Chebet was in another relationship with a one Mbuga, who has since been released from Swedish and Dubai prisons for defrauding the elderly Swede.
Chebet on her part is wanted by Interpol and Swedish police for her role in the scam which saw the 73-year-old Swedish politician transfer Shs23 billion to bank account numbers belonging to Chebet, a one Muhamad Mbabali and a briefcase company fully owned by Mbuga called SkyCargo Net and Security.
The monies were meant to facilitate the shipment of Chebet’s family gold from Uganda to Sweden.
The gold, Chebet told Heinsoo, then a Chief Financial Officer of Einar Mattson AB, was inherited following the death of her father.
Also, she said, guests who had showed up at her father’s funeral ‘had given her some gold’ before adding that more of the gold belonged to some of her uncles who lived in the DR Congo where there was a lot of gold financed rebel activity.
According to a Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) report dated February 28, 2018, Chebet recommended the use of SkyCargo Net and Security as the company that would handle the said shipment of the gold, adding that she had been to their offices and made contact with two employees in particular – Edward something and Sulaiman Mbuga and a Muhamad Mbabaali.”
“It should be noted that she was an employee of the same company as per her appointment letter dated 03/02/2014,” the report reads in part.
Also Chebet, whose Swedish passport number 89090288, due to expire on December 2, 2019, had introduced Mbuga to Heinsoo as her brother.
“He conducted checks of the company and everything looked very professional. One could even follow where the goods were. He did not understand that it was fake,” Stockholm City Court heard.
After making the initial deposits to Chebet and Sky Cargo to a tune of about Kr6.5m (Shs2.4billion), the gold never made it to Sweden because the Mbuga and his wife kept asking for more – more money for new licences, new export permits, insurance, storage and so on.
But Heinsoo perceived that since he was in love with Chebet then maybe the gold would eventually come.
Watchdog Uganda has extracts of emails, chats and text messages between Heinsoo and Chebet in which the two seem to be in love.
The messages were sent between January 2016 and October of the same year.
In one such text message on April 22, 2016, Chebet writes ‘Hi, my dear husband’. In response, Heinsoo writes about the punitive fee for 56 kilogrames of gold and expresses hope that they can get the cost down. He signs off by saying ‘he loves his beautiful wife so much.’
In other texts, Chebet, who had told Heinsoo she was a home language teacher who had lost her job, writes ‘Call me, love,’ and ‘Hi love, I have tried to call you,’ as well as ‘Call me darling,’ and ‘Sweetie’.
“He was in love with Angella Chebet the whole time since they met. When he called her ‘my wife’ it was an adjustment to the jargon one had in Uganda,” court heard.
He would continue to pay the large amounts because he believed that it would thereby end to the whole process of getting the gold to Sweden.
On November 26, 2016, Mbuga married Chebet in a lavish ceremony at Kibuli Mosque, believed to have been facilitated by a transfer of Kr749,908, about Shs279m from Heinsoo on November 10, 2016.
Still, Heinsoo did not know about the wedding until he was picked up by the police on December 2, 2016.
While in custody, Chebet’s accomplices, Muhamad and a one Mr Edward (both suspected to be Mbuga) called to ask for more money because the gold ‘was now here and there and that it would arrive soon.
By then, he had already cancelled any kind of transactions although he still believed Chebet, who had also been arrested, was the love of his life.
She jumped bail in 2017 and returned to Kampala but not after accusing Heinsoo of landing her in the hands of police.
It was during a police interrogation that he saw a photo of Chebet as bride. His life has never been the same.
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