Businessmen and property owners in Eldoret have raised concern over increasing cases of fraudulent land transactions in Uasin Gishu county.
Eldoret businesswoman Leah Chepchumba said that swindlers in the land sector comprise lawyers, officers at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, government officials in administration, land brokers among other associates.
Chepchumba said that racketeers forge land documents which they use to defraud unsuspecting Kenyans.
She cited a case where a son of an Eldoret prominent businessman allegedly forged documents demanding her to pay him court cost of a land case which she had filed against her estranged husband.
She said that the claimant is not a member of her family neither part of the court matter revolving around the property court battle.
The woman said that the suspected fraudster has been impersonating to be part of the civil suit number 15 of 2008 which she had filed against her husband Stephen Sugut.
“This man is not a member of our family. I was surprised to be served with a court order demanding that I pay him more than Sh200,000 as cost of a land suit case I had filed against my husband,” said Chepchumba who had been summoned to appear before an Eldoret High Court judge to explain why she should not pay the alleged money.
Her sentiments were echoed by a police investigator who said that some ministry of Lands officials in the county are the most culpable.
The officer, who requested anonymity, said rogue lawyers are used by the fraudsters to write the sale agreements.
“Buyers must be extremely cautious especially when the seller proposes and insists that the transaction must be conducted by a particular lawyer,” said the officer.
He added that the fraudsters are also targeting unused parcels of land and those whose owners have died.
The fraudsters have perfected the culture of forging land ownership documents such as the title deed, ID card and signature of the land registrar who signed the last entry of the genuine proprietor.
A similar case has been filed in Eldoret chief magistrate court where two men have been sued for forging ID cards in a land sale agreement.
The fraudsters have formed a network with individuals in the county.