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Dutch flower export agent facing charges in Kenya

He had intended to spend a few days in Kenya when he came to attend the International Flower Trade Expo (IFTEX) in March this year but he is still in the country facing charges of swindling a section of small scale flower farmers.

I am referring to a Dutch citizen Mr. Enroy Kraneeld a flower agent based in the Netherlands. Mr. Kraneeld’s intentions were to attend the three-day flower fair and fly back home but a past transaction he had conducted with the Kenyan farmers came back to haunt him. The farmers who had also attended the show were informed by someone who recognized the Dutch agent and was aware of their plight that he was around and alerted the authorities of his presence in the country.

Mr. Kraneeld was intercepted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as he was exiting the country and arrested following claims by the farmers that he had swindled them a total of Kshs.5.4 million worth of rose flowers in devious transactions.

He was later released on a cash bail of Kshs.3 million when he appeared in court shortly after his arrest and asked to deposit his passport in court until the case is determined. The case is before Justice Isaac Lenaola and he is being charged with the offence of obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 313 of the penal code.

The farmers drawn from Multigrow Investments group claims that they had entered into an agreement with Mr. Kraneeld for sale of rose flowers but after obtaining the flowers in April 2011 he failed to make payments as agreed.

Efforts by the farmers to compel Mr. Kraneeld who was at the time of the transaction a director of Messrs Fleurow BV, the company the farmers used to sell their flowers, to pay their dues went unheeded. The fact that Mr. Kraneeld was safely back home worked to the disadvantage of the farmers and they lost hope of ever being paid.

“We had given up on ever recovering our money but since the case is in court we hope it will compel him to pay us our dues,” said Mr. Peter Murimi the chairman of Multigrow Investments.

Speaking to Horticultural News when both parties appeared in court for hearing on Friday 15th June this year, Mr. Murimi said this was not the first time the group had used Mr. Kraneeld’s agency to sell their flowers in the European market and he always honoured the agreement.

The agreement between Mr. Kraneeld and the farmers was that he gets a commission from the sale of the flowers but on receiving that last consignment he went underground.

The hearing date was set for 2nd August 2012.

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