A woman who claimed to be a representative of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) was accused of defrauding coffee society officials in Kenya, using fake contracts worth tens of millions of Kenya shillings, hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

The ICO is an intergovernmental organization for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing Governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector, through international cooperation. Members of the organisation include many of the world’s biggest coffee-producing countries like Kenya, although some, like Uganda and Guatemala, left after becoming disaffected with the organisation.

According to officials of societies in Tharaka Nithi, Caroline Karanja had allegedly tricked some of them into signing illegal contracts for rebuilding factories. Some suspected the contracts were fake when the officials “demanded to sign the contracts with the financier and the coordinator refused”.

Karanja was arrested by authorities in Tharaka-Nithi on the 15th of October. She is currently being held without bail while investigations and court proceedings are ongoing for 10 days, as Chuka High Court Judge Lucy Gitari noted that the suspect could interfere with the investigations.

The ICO released a press statement, stating that it has no connections to Karanja: 

The ICO has no knowledge or any engagement whatsoever with Ms. Caroline Karanja, and strongly condemns the actions of this individual. The ICO fully supports the people of Tharaka-Nithi and the Kenyan authorities in their quest for justice and is at the disposal of Kenyan authorities for any information they may require in their quest for justice.

If found guilty, the courts will likely give her a roasting. (sorry, ed).

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