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Unlicensed investment firm director charged in Sh77m row

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Summary

  • A director of an unlicensed investment company is in court for defrauding two traders Sh77 million which he had promised to invest on their behalf in the money market.
  • Mr Benson Kariuki Ireri, a director of County Capital Limited, allegedly told Ms Ziporah Waithera Mungai and Mr Boniface Mulwa Nzinga that he would invest their funds in a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) then pay the two returns.

A director of an unlicensed investment company is in court for defrauding two traders Sh77 million which he had promised to invest on their behalf in the money market.

Mr Benson Kariuki Ireri, a director of County Capital Limited, allegedly told Ms Ziporah Waithera Mungai and Mr Boniface Mulwa Nzinga that he would invest their funds in a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) then pay the two returns, according to the charges laid before Milimani law courts chief magistrate Martha Mutuku.

Prosecutor Anderson Gikunda told the court that the two claimants had been waiting in vain since 2015 to receive returns and their capital from their multimillion-shilling investments from Mr Ireri’s firm, despite several attempts to recover their money.

The prosecutor told the court that Ms Mungai had given the accused Sh61.52 million, while Mr Nzinga had invested Sh15.5 million in the scheme.

Mr Ireri is also facing a charge of operating a CIS business without a licence from the Capital Markets Authority.

He allegedly operated the business within a span of three years from January 1, 2015 until September 1, 2018.

Mr Ireri’s lawyer David Kirimi applied to have him freed on bond saying he has a young family—with the last-born daughter aged two months—and was not a flight risk.

Mr Kirimi further said the accused has not been in employment and the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic have impacted on him severely.

Mr Gikunda did not oppose the bail request but asked the court to consider the size of the lost amount and the income it could have generated when invested by the accused.

Ms Mutuku set the cash bail atSh300,000.

The matter will be mentioned in two weeks for pretrial directions.