About 1,000 students were excited to travel abroad this month as part of what they claimed to be an international student placement program to enroll in professional courses at some of the most esteemed universities in the world.
A Nairobi-based college had guaranteed them placements in the universities and colleges of their choosing in any nation around the world, according to a case that is currently being investigated by the authorities.
Parents were pleased and optimistic that their children’s goals of achieving academic and professional success were coming true after spending hundreds of thousands of shillings each. The future was promising, and the lusher landscape that comes with famous schools was within reach.
The difficult financial sacrifices of taking out large loans to pay for their children’s international studies and the painful difficulties of having to sell up homes they had accumulated over a lifetime were nothing in comparison to the benefits that lay ahead. Many must have believed that it was well worth the money for the future of their children.
They had no idea, though, that they had been duped by a fictitious college’s seedy Eastlands office, which was allegedly running a fraud scam. The trip’s scheduled departure date has gone, and the purported scheme’s mastermind has vanished. According to Sunday Nation’s inquiries, the accused swindle may have stolen over Sh180 million from parents and pupils who were naive and in need over the previous year.
Additionally, the institution where payments were made to help sending students abroad has been closed. Now that the plot is over, the handymen who participated in it are left to deal with the fury of furious parents who want their money back or payback, whichever comes first and is simpler. The alleged scam, which was allegedly being carried out under the guise of an unregistered institution on Nairobi’s Outering Road, is reported to have affected at least 1,000 parents.
In spite of complaints from the claimed victims, authorities in Nairobi have not yet questioned the owner of Kenema College of Professional Studies. Javan Ochieng, a businessman, is the owner of Kenya Network Markets (Kenema), the organization that manages the college.
This began on May 24, 2021, when Mr. Ochieng was a host on a local radio station’s morning program. He made good use of his hour of airtime by offering a profitable deal to anybody looking to further their education abroad. Many were won over by his lovely tongue.
“He claimed to be the president of an institution where students may study abroad thanks to their worldwide alliances. We were easily persuaded by his offer since he was very persuasive and it was broadcast on a renowned radio station, according to Ms. Christina Kibet, an alleged victim, in an interview with newsdesk said
At the time, Mr. Ochieng’ had a college running out of a shop on Nairobi’s Outering Road. The duration of the college’s existence is unknown, however inhabitants and parents who spoke to us.
Following the radio interview, a vigorous mainstream and social media campaign was launched, which increased interest among students and parents. The owner mostly catered to children who performed poorly on their secondary school exams. He promised to move the application along more quickly. A new office was opened at the college to manage the “foreign student placement program” barely two weeks following the media interview. Later, a college orientation forum would be open to parents and students.
“There were more than 500 of us in attendance at that meeting, and we were given the idea. We paid for it and decided to enroll,” Ms. Kibet added.
Parents claim they were assured that after their children choose a major, college, and country of study,
Documents obtained shows that Sh450,000 was needed to cover flying tickets, the cost of academic registration at international universities, and the processing of visa applications. The traveling pupils would also be provided with housing. “Everything seemed very promising, and many of us were eager to enroll. We began seeking for funding. We even accepted loans,” a father who claims to have been duped, Mr. James Onsombi, claimed.
Additionally, documents reveal that loans were provided to parents who had problems raising the funds, and that other people were given letters to assist in fund raising. More than 1,000 parents are thought to have registered in the past five months.