Inside Politics

Coffee lobby calls out fraudster conning farmers in Mt Kenya

Friday, October 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Coffee cherries. Photo/Courtesy

London based International Coffee Organisation (ICO) has disowned a Kenyan allegedly engaged in fraudulent activities claiming to be one of its officials.

The organisation’s Secretariat denied knowledge or any engagement with Ms Caroline Karanja and condemned reported actions by the individual.

“ICO recently learned, through reports in the press, that an individual claiming to be an ICO official, by the name of Caroline Karanja, has allegedly engaged in fraudulent activities.

According to these reports, Ms. Karanja has defrauded hardworking coffee producers and organizations in Kenya with contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said a statement shared in the media.

Early this week it was reported in the media that Karanja was duping coffee society officials in the Mt. Kenya region by asking them to sign multi million-shilling contracts for rebuilding factories exposing them to litigation.

Ongoing deception

According to officials of some 27 societies in Tharaka Nithi County, Karanja might have deceived them into signing illegal contracts.

In Meru County, contractors who had started work on four factories have abandoned the projects, saying they have not been paid.

ICO secretariat stated that it fully supports the people of Tharaka-Nithi and Kenyan authorities in their quest for justice and would give any information they may require in the quest for justice.

“The ICO reserves itself the right to take legal action against the individual and strongly cautions anyone to not attempt to engage in any activities on behalf of the International Coffee Organisation unless formally authorised,” the secretariat stated.

ICO is a multilateral organization supporting exporting and importing countries to improve the sustainability of the coffee sector.

The organisation provides a high-level forum for all public and private stakeholders in the sector, official statistics on coffee production, trade and consumption; and support for the development and funding of technical cooperation projects and public-private partnerships.

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