advertisement

News

Three suspects deny involvement in Sh50m KCB heist

Police at the KCB Thika branch. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NMG
Police at the KCB Thika branch. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NMG 

Three men suspected to be behind the Sh50 million heist at the Kenya Commercial Bank #ticker:KCB branch in Thika have denied breaking into the lender's premises a week ago.

The suspects, identified as brothers Charles Mwangi Murakaru, 30, Halford Munene Murakaru, 32, and their cousin Julius Ndung'u Wainaina, 32, appeared at the Thika Law court Monday even as details of their arrest and recovery of part of the cash remained a mystery.

The police arrested the three on Saturday after a tip off from members on the public.

Sh17.1 million was then recovered in a house in Juja.

According to the charge sheet, on diverse days between November 18 and 20, the trio at an unknown time, jointly with others not in court, broke into the bank through an underground tunnel and stole the cash from the lender's strongroom.

They denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Teresia Murigi, and were remanded until November 30, when a bond ruling will be made after the prosecution said they were likely to flee or interfere with the case if released.

Suspects in Thika KCB theft case Charles Mwangi Murakaru, Halford Munene Murakaru and Julius Wainaina at the Thika Law courts on November 27, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY

Suspects in Thika KCB theft case Charles Mwangi Murakaru, Halford Munene Murakaru and Julius Wainaina at the Thika Law courts on November 27, 2017. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NMG

Cash found

Detectives privy to the investigations into the heist said the flat in Juja was rented by a woman just a week before the arrests.

The woman, police said, moved into the flat a day before the break-in at the bank.

Inside the house, police found money in seven different currencies kept in gunny bags.

The cash was stashed at different parts of the house and included Sh17,135,000 (Kenyan currency), $1,311, £340, 5 Canadian dollars, 85 Australia dollars, 46,000 Tanzania shillings, 40 South Africa rand and 20,000 Ugandan shillings.

Investigations into the heist were carried out by detectives from several formations of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, including the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit, The Flying Squad and the Special Crimes Prevention Unit.

Also recovered at the Juja house were burglary tools, several mobile phones and national identity cards.

The recovered cash was transferred to KCB headquarters in Nairobi.

The police say they were notified by the men's neighbours in Marurui, Kasarani, of suspicious activity. Upon raiding their house and after interrogations, the three then directed them to the Juja house where they found the cash stuffed in plastic tanks.

The woman said to have rented the house was not present during the raid.

The details of her identity are scanty since she had only provided the caretaker of the building with a copy of a national ID.

advertisement