Three Equity Bank employees charged with Sh30m robbery

Three Equity Bank employees have been charged with the theft of Sh30 million from the Othaya branch last Friday.

Operations manager Michael Kagume Gatura, branch accountant Ishmael Mwangi Kamara and cash officer Mophat Gathumbi Ngugi appeared before senior resident magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi but did not take plea as the police sought more time to conclude their investigations.

According to an affidavit filed in court, police claim there was a conspiracy between the three robbers and staff from the bank.

Three armed robbers posing as Equity auditors arrived at the bank at 6.50am, before most staff arrived, and pretended to be carrying out an impromptu audit.

As part of the “audit” the robbers asked available staff how much money was in the bank, police said.

As soon as a banker opened the safe, the robbers brandished crude weapons and threatened the staff.

The thugs stuffed the money into three sacks, fled through the back door and escaped in a getaway car.

CCTV cameras recorded the incident and investigations have started. The robbers are still at large.

The magistrate gave police seven days to complete their investigations. The suspects will be brought back to court on October 12.

The charges against the bank employees come at a moment when banks are reeling from a rise in staff theft.

The Banking Fraud Investigations Department reckons that at least half of the bank thefts reported involve an employee and tech-savvy staff mainly use telegraphic transfers to wire the stolen money.