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Ex-Dubai Bank boss in Sh522m Kenya Airways fraud case

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Former Dubai Bank chairman Hassan Zubeidi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Hassan Zubeidi was in court on Wednesday but did not take a plea after his lawyers informed the magistrate that they had orders from the High Court stopping his arrest or prosecution.
  • He faces charges of money laundering contrary to the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Act 2009, stealing contrary to provisions of the Penal Code, and conspiracy to commit a felony.
  • The charge sheet lists the complainant as Kenya Airways, while the witnesses are former Kenya Airways chief executive Mbuvi Nguze.

Former Dubai Bank chairman Hassan Zubeidi has been accused of defrauding national carrier Kenya Airways Sh521.9 million.

The charge sheet presented in court by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) indicates that the offence was committed between 2013 and 2015 at Dubai Bank, which is currently under liquidation.

Mr Zubeidi was in court on Wednesday but did not take a plea after his lawyers informed the magistrate that they had orders from the High Court stopping his arrest or prosecution.

“Between January 1, 2013 and December 2015, at Dubai Bank in Nairobi jointly with others not before court, (you)engaged on a fraudulent cash transaction which lead to the Kenya Airways to lose a total of Sh521,939,870,” reads the charge sheet which identifies Mr Zubeidi as Hassan Ahmed Haffidh.

He faces charges of money laundering contrary to the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Act 2009, stealing contrary to provisions of the Penal Code, and conspiracy to commit a felony. The charge sheet lists the complainant as Kenya Airways, while the witnesses are former Kenya Airways chief executive Mbuvi Nguze.

Others facing similar charges are Elijah Githinji, Deeraj Baghela, Dutta Kumar, Grace Mathenge, Jane Kiboi, Jackson Njiiri and Elias Ngao.

Mr Zubeidi had moved to court opposing his prosecution over alleged malpractices at the collapsed Dubai Bank and obtained orders stopping his arrest, but with a caveat that allowed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to record his statement to help police with their investigations.

The ODPP and DCI said the matter was of public interest, adding that investigations and subsequent charges did not infringe on his constitutional rights.

The charge sheet did not disclose details of the alleged fraudulent transactions but a Deloitte report released in 2016 had implicated some KQ officials and Dubai Bank management in the alleged fraud.

Among the allegations in the report were that a senior accountant at the airline was involved in back office and online sales as well as initiating forex transactions with Dubai Bank without the board’s approval.