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Economy

Businessman loses bid for Sh32m held in his Absa account

Mary Kasango
Justice Mary Kasango. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A businessman has lost a bid to claim Sh32 million being held in his account, which a court ruled was fraudulently transferred to him 11 years ago.

Instead, Justice Mary Kasango directed Joseph Wachira and Ruth Wangari, both directors of Joruth Enterprises, to pay Sh21.99 million to Absa Kenya (formerly Barclays Bank), together with interest from April 7, 2009.

Mr Wachira sued the bank accusing it of reversing about Sh32 million which had been deposited in his company’s account at the lender’s Queensway branch. He claimed that the amount was payment of 11,960 bags of wheat he supplied to a company known as Nairok Seed Company.

However evidence presented to court by the bank showed that the money was fraudulently debited to Joruth’s account from Kenya Seed Company.

Mr Wachira told the court that he was in the business of supplying cereals in the country and on March 2009, he received an order to supply 11,960 bags of wheat to Nairok Seed Company.

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Nairok would deposit Sh32.48 million into Joruth’s account and from the amount, he instructed the bank to pay Sh7.9 million to some suppliers. The balance was, however, reversed and he wanted the bank to pay him for loss of business.

On its part, the bank said suspicious transactions were reported by the manager at its Enterprise branch and upon investigations, it emerged that some Sh100.758 million had irregularly been transferred from Kenya Seed Company.

The amounts were credited to various accounts, one of them belonging to Joruth. The transfer, the court heard, was done with the assistance of some bank staff, who were subsequently arrested and charged with fraud. Mr Wachira was also charged.

In her judgment, Justice Kasango said the bank had brought evidence showing that the debit was made by Kenya Seed and there were documents to support the transactions.

The court noted that apart from a letter from Nairok requesting for the bags of wheat, there was no other document from Joruth, proving that the amount was deposited by Nairok. “It is important to note that the bank carried out a search of the company called Nairok Seed Company Ltd. The search revealed that the company was registered on February 3, 2011, years later after the date the transactions were made,” the judge said.

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