Soila's unfortunate experience

Thu, 2008-12-04 07:33 by hcroze

Many of you must by now be appraised of the scam that was recently perpetrated on Project Manager, Soila Sayialel. The details are being circulated via email and on the Kenya security alert networks, but we thought it would help to post the third-person version here as well...

Statement on suspected incident of criminal use of scopolamine

The following statement has been distilled, annotated and rendered in the third person from a first person account of a recent scam perpetrated on a 40-year old Kenyan professional woman working for a local NGO. As the incident evidently involved the administration of a mind-control drug, the version below differs considerably from the one she recounted to friends and the police in the few hours following her release by the perpetrators. The victim, called M. herein for anonymity, originally recounted that she had decided suddenly to remove her money from a bank she did not trust to another one. It was not until some 30 hours later when she went back to the scene to retrieve her vehicle that the facts of the matter began to come back to her, piece by piece.

M. had been undergoing physiotherapy at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Parklands, Nairobi, since 10 November, 2008. M. would typically arrive every morning at about 09:00 for the daily two-hour session.

On Thursday, 27 November 2008, at about 09:30, M. the project Pajero, marked clearly with the NGP name and logo, in the secured AKUH back parking lot. park. As she walked towards the north entrance of Doctors Plaza she was stopped by a well dressed woman, who asked her questions about the whereabouts of a certain Maxwell group that allegedly had opened an office on the AKUH premises and was holding a conference to help HIV/AIDS orphans. M. said she she did not know as she was only seeing a doctor. She suggested that the woman ask the security officer at the Doctors Plaza desk, but the woman she had already asked the security person at the gate, and he had no idea as well.

The woman, taking M.’s hand fervently, then went on to introduce herself as ‘sister Gladys’ and said that she helped raise funds to support orphans from the Taita Taveta and Rombo areas. She continued to hold M.’s hand and related that her parents died when she was five years old. During the conversation, a second woman walked past, and ‘Gladys’ asked her if she knows about the Maxwell group. The second woman told ‘Gladys’ that the group had opened an office along Ngong road near Masaba hospital.

In recalling and recounting the sequence later, M. believes that by this point the drug was taking effect. There followed a conversation and exchange between the two women involving, among other things, ‘Mrs. Kamau’ seeing ‘Gladys’ performing miracles on her Runinga TV show; God telling M. that something bad was to happen to her that afternoon; a vision of seven graves, one for M. and the rest for her mother, three children and two other family members; a statement that the Aga Khan was full of devil spirits. In retrospect, the exchange was obviously designed to entrap and confuse M.

M. grew fearful and followed the two women to ‘Mrs. Kamau’s’ saloon vehicle that was parked nearby. ‘Mrs. Kamau’ drove to the High Ridge Nakumatt parking lot, with M. sitting in the back with ‘Gladys’ holding hands. At the parking lot a third women and a man joined them in the car. M. recalls her arm being further rubbed by ‘Gladys’, as she was asking questions about M.’s circumstances and extracting information about her accounts and amounts held. She did not have the account number of the current account, so she was encouraged to call her sister-in-law for the information. M. did as instructed. The recent-calls directory in her phone still has the message with the account number sent by the sister-in-law showing the time to be 11:30. She was asked to switch off her two phones.

M. then accompanied ‘Mrs. Kamau’ into the Nakumatt to buy six eggs. Back in the car, M. was told to touch various parts of herself with an egg. She was also asked to write something in her diary. She still has the entry: ‘Psalms 30:1-30. My cry is over, thanks, Lord’. M.’s assumption, once she came to her senses, was that these actions comprised a trial to see if the drug was having the desired effect to render her docile and compliant, yet still ambulatory and functional.

Then they all drove to M.’s bank, the Kenya Commercial Bank at Kencom House. On arrival, the man accompanied her to the Bank. M. was instructed to withdraw KES 1,150,000 from her savings account and 150,000 from her current account. He queued for her, and when it was her turn to withdraw money he left her alone in the queue and moved to one side. He told her it was getting late and, therefore, she should only remove money from the savings account. She was by then quite confused, since she had to fill out the withdrawal slip three times before getting it correctly (she still has the crumpled and torn reject slips). Whilst filling out the slips, she looked around for the man, but could not see him, as he must have been trying to avoid the CCT cameras. It would be worth reviewing the CCT footage.

The clerk at the Bank seemed to be concerned about the amount she was withdrawing and only gave her 50,000 over the counter. He asked her to come into a side room for the rest. The man then joined her again in the waiting room outside the side room; they waited together, with him sitting opposite rather than beside her. When the time came to go in to get the money, she did so alone. She was given the money in an A-4 envelope within an Uchumi bag provided by the teller. In the waiting room, she handed the bag to the man to carry, and they both left the bank. Once outside they re-entered car. M. was then relieved one of her mobiles, a Nokia N70, number 0734 550388.

They then asked her to go into the nearby Uchumi by the Nairobi Cinema and buy a mirror. She did as instructed, and when she emerged from the Uchumi, the gang was gone. She wandered around town for quite some time, not aware of what she was doing. She eventually finished up again in front of the KCB bank. She sat there for some time and then called one of the NGO admin employees at 13:45. .

The NGO colleague immediately came to get M. and drove her to the house of one of the NGO director. She recounted the drug-induced version of the story about going to the Bank on her own account to remove money and then being highjacked upon leaving the bank. This is evidently what she was told to say by the perpetrators and was the substance of the first statement given to the police early on Friday.

It was only on Friday afternoon, when she went back to the AKUH to collect the car and to speak to the nurses in Physiotherapy, when they told her that she had actually not come for treatment on Thursday and that she was seen talking to and leaving with a woman, that suddenly the memory of what had really happened began to flood back.

As best as she can recall, the perpetrators were:

The woman who intercepted her in the parking lot, ‘Gladys’, was a good looking person, around 30 to 35 years old, medium build, well-dressed in a kitenge outfit. Evidently the leader of the group. She was a very convincing talker.

The second woman, ‘Mrs Kamau’, was elderly, slim, medium-built and dressed in a pink skirt suit.

The man who accompanied her into the bank, who had introduced himself as ‘Mr. Mumanyi’, was dressed in a black suit. He was about 5’ 7”, around 40 to 45 years old, around 90 kilos.

The third woman, ‘Mrs Mumanyi’, was around 40 to 45 years old, tall, slim, dressed in a black skirt, black and white blouse.

Search results from the Internet suggest that M. was the victim of ‘burundanga’, or something similar, in which the perpetrators contrive to achieve topical or oral administration of scopolamine, or some similar derivative of narcotic plant families like Solanaceae. See, for example, and  It should be stressed that there were no medical tests to confirm or refute this hypothesis.  


Thu, 2009-04-30 11:14 by Ole Soit


This is Brad Stone (ole soit) from oklahoma, usa.

soila, i am so very sorry to hear about this. You are in my thoughts.

I hope everything is alright.


Wed, 2009-01-07 10:31 by JACK WASONGA


I pray that God gives you grace and strength to overcome this.I thank God so much for having saved your dear life in the hands of the evil men and women giving you one more chance to do even greater things.Take heart and know that God is in control and everything works for the Good of them who fear the Lord.

Be blessed


Mon, 2008-12-08 22:35 by Donna

I am so sorry this happened, Soila. I hope the criminals will be caught.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.