Sh1bn Chase Bank fraud suspects in court bid to stop trial

Customers at a Chase Bank branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Customers at a Chase Bank branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Two suspects facing fraud charges in connection with the loss of more than Sh1 billion at Chase Bank have filed an application to stop the case.

Mr Mohamed Nasrullah Khan and Amira Claudia Khan, filed the case before the High Court alleging they are being subjected to an unfair trial.

They claim they are only in court because of their relations to the chairman Zafrullah Khan.

The two said in a sworn statement that they took an overdraft from the bank of Sh58 million and they have been repaying the loan, to date.

They now want the court to issue a permanent orders, barring the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko from proceeding with a case, which is pending before a magistrate court.

Three former directors of the bank and the chairman have already denied charges of conspiracy to defraud the troubled bank of Sh1,683,000,000.

Yet to plead

Three others are yet to plead to the charges but have filed an application, before the magistrate, arguing that the charge sheet is defective. Nasrullah and Claudia want the criminal charges stopped.

Other than being subjected to unfair trial, they said they will be forced to bear great expense in legal fees and as well as time, if the case is not stopped.

They allege they are law abiding citizens and their image has been badly damaged by the case.

Those who have been charged include Mr Duncan Kabui Gichu, a former managing director, Mr James Mwaura Mwenja, a former general manager credit and Mr Makarios Omondi Agumbi, a former general manager finance, and former chairman Mr Zafrullah. They are out on bond.

They are accused of committing the offence between August 28, 2009 and March 31, 2016 at the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi.

It is alleged that the suspects, conspired to defraud the bank by effecting from the bank’s internal accounts to the accounts of Camelia Investments Limited, Cleopatra Holdings Limited, Golden Azure Limited and Colnbrook Holdings Limited.

Genuine loan facilities

The prosecution claim that the suspects made it appear that these transfers were genuine loan facilities and were disbursed in ordinary course of loan process flow.

Mr Kabui denied three further counts of stealing more than Sh800 million between February 28, 2012 and December 31, 2015.

The monies were allegedly stolen in dollars and Kenya shillings, while Mr Mwaura and Mr Omondi, denied charges of stealing by servant.

They have also denied a further charge of failing to comply with requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering law by failing to report transactions involving cash in excess of Sh1 million.

The prosecution alleges that the failed to maintain records of the customers, in relations to the said transactions.

Nasrullah and Claudia allege that the monies they are accused of stealing was in fact bona fide loans advanced by the bank to Golden Azure for purchasing and subdivision of an apartment and had nothing to do with them, in their personal capacities.

They allege that the company is still servicing the loan, hence assertions of theft and claims that they were trying to deprive of the bank, are not true.