M-Pesa agent charged with withholding Sh392,000 mistakenly sent to her

Elizabeth Wanjiru in the dock at the Makadara Law Courts. Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

A businesswoman who allegedly refused to return Sh392,000 mistakenly sent to her M-Pesa agent number by a bank official has been charged with intentionally withholding electronic payment against the law. 

Elizabeth Wanjiru is accused of keeping the money belonging to Frida Wangechi, which was mistakenly sent to her last month. 

Ms Wangechi, who works at Equity Bank Ruai branch, deposited Sh392,000 into Ms Wanjiru's M-Pesa agent account as her working capital (float) but mistakenly made the transaction twice and ended up transferring Sh784,000 into the account.

She alerted her senior colleagues and asked for help in reversing the extra cash, but the reversal failed. Ms Wanjiru was told not to withdraw the money as management was planning to take Safaricom to court over the matter.

However, a day later, Safaricom told Equity officials that the transaction could not be reversed because there was no money in Ms Wanjiru's account.

Ms Wanjiru had allegedly switched off her phone and could not be reached.

On Tuesday, the accused appeared before Chief Magistrate Tito Gesora of the Makadara Law Courts and denied the charges.

She was released on Sh100,000 cash bail.

The case will be mentioned on April 5 before the trial starts on July 8.

Ms Wangechi and one of her senior colleagues are listed as witnesses in the case.

CCTV footage of Ms Wanjiru being served by Ms Wangechi and a bank statement showing the suspect withdrawing only Sh392,000 are listed as exhibits in the case.

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