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Investigations

Diamond Trust Bank Helped Riverside Terrorists Launder Money That Financed The Dusit Attack

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Loved ones broke down as they went to identify the bodies of victims at Chiromo mortuary.

Anti Terror Police Unit has been combing out areas believed to be terrorists hideouts and spending sleepless nights piecing up events to net all those involved in the Riverside attack.

Shocking details emerged in court on Wednesday as six more suspects were arraigned in connection to the January 15, 2019 terror attack at 14 Riverside in Nairobi.

The six; Hassan Abdi Nur, Ismael Sadiq Abitham, Ali Khamisi Ali, Abdinoor Maalim Ismail, Abdullahi Mohamed Hassan and Sophia Njoki Mbogo, were accused of financing the attack that left 21 dead.

Another suspect, Hassan Abdi Nur, was said have been receiving huge amounts of money from South Africa, which was later withdrawn through a specific till number. Intelligence reports indicated that he would later send the money to Somalia after making several calls.

Abdi, who operates an M-Pesa business, is said to have registered 52 accounts out of which 47 were listed in October, November and December last year.

The affidavit reads that Abdi received Sh9 million from South Africa and the same was withdrawn through M-Pesa and later through Diamond Trust Bank Eastleigh Branch. Police suspect the money was for financing terrorism.

Abdi is said to have registered 47 Sim Cards using different identity cards and names. The Sim Cards were all used in two handsets which were all geo-located within Eastleigh area, Nairobi.

According to investigators, DTB’s Eastleigh branch was used to transact huge amount of money from the suspects and this went without sounding an alarm to the authorities. The bank in this lime helped the terrorists launder their money.

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Banks have become under criticism for failing to flag suspicious transactions which as its evident, used in financing slaughtering of innocent Kenyans and also the fact that money laundering had been giving corruption in Kenya a leeway.

Family Bank Limited has been cleared in the Sh1.6 billion National Youth Service money laundering case after reaching a settlement with the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji.

The bank pleaded guilty to six counts, including failure to comply with its reporting obligations to report unusual transactions, then paid a fine from which Sh24,500,000 will go to NYS while the rest Sh40million will be paid to the Sports ministry.

According to investigations, Sophia Njoki Mbogo, a branch manager at Diamond Trust Bank in Eastleigh, was arrested on Wednesday. She allegedly withdrew huge chunks of money from the branch despite no report ever being made to the police.

If this is to borrow a leaf from previous money laundering cases with NYS banks then the decision to permit such huge transactions without flagging has a long chain link in the hierarchy that need to be followed. This will open other angles.

Banks must adhere to anti money laundering standards to help curbing corruption and funding criminal activities such as Al Shabaab. I therefore suggest that investigations should go beyond the Riverside attack transactions to connecting dots and tracking other active and past transactions. DTB should be sanctioned should it be be proven that they knowingly or unknowingly facilitated terrorism attack in Kenya by such transactions.

Court was also told by ATPU that one of the suspects Abdinoor Maalim Osmail, a graduate of Kenya School of Law currently undergoing pupillage, received Sh100M in the past few months. This money is suspected to have been used in facilitating the Nairobi attack.

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Horizon TV is also in the spot having its two members of press on the dock; Ismael Sadiq who works with Horizon TV as a social media representative. He was arrested on January 22,2019 within Nairobi County and his mobile phone seized.

He is said to have been in constant communication with Gichunge. Police suspect he was involved in laundering money and transacting funds believed to be for the purposes of terrorism.

Ali Khamis works as a marketing manager with Horizon TV and was arrested on January 22, 2019 and his mobile phone seized for forensic examination.

He is said to have been in constant communication with several phone numbers in Somalia suspected to belong to Al Shabaab members.

A law intern transacted about Sh100M from unknown sources in South Africa and allegedly used DTB to launder the money to Somalia for financing terrorism. Another one posed as an Mpesa agent, created 52 Mpesa accounts, 47 of which were created in three months.

Now question arises as to how all this passed the intelligence eyes and just how porous is the financial system in Kenya that such suspicious transactions can go unplugged? What measures for instance does Mpesa have in place to curb facilitation of terror? 52 Mpesa accounts, one person under three months and their intelligence couldn’t raise an alarm? We’re living in the reality of  Al Shabaab menace and not unless things change, it could just get worse.

I don’t have to go back and forth on the down ends of money laundering. Terrorism is as alive as finances are available to fund the evil acts. Al Shabaab have known our financial systems are weak and that with a bribe, one can move millions at a go without being flagged as is the case against DTB before the court.

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If rules aren’t adhered to then we’re laying a perfect ground for Al Shabaab to move their money in and outside our financial setups, plan and attack Kenya with absolute ease. It’s in this breath that financial institutions like Mpesa, banks must be held accountable, it has to be everyone’s responsibility to protect each other.

Its a shame that the manager at DTB and sleeping intelligence out of greed and incompetence respectively, allowed the Al Shabaab to successfully execute their plan. Investigations must therefore be carried out and the banks like DTB and other players caught in the act be subjected to cruel sanctions and more importantly, CBK and relevant authorities need to be ruthless with the implementation of anti money laundering efforts.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram

Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Send me tips to [[email protected]]

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Investigations

Britam Risks Losing Billions As Court Rules In Favor Of Cytonn Over Unsubstantiated Fraud Claims

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Back in 2014 Britam accused four of its former employees of theft of billions of shillings, to the tune of kes. 8 billion, and sought to file criminal complaints about them. Britam said that the theft was discovered after audits done by accounting firm KPMG and law firm Coulson Harney.

The four former employees refuted this claiming that no such theft had happened and wrote to Britam asking them to disclose the said reports to prove their innocence. Britam, however, refused to disclose the audit reports and the four former employees then filed a lawsuit in the high court in 2016 seeking to compel Britam to disclose the audits.

After three years of litigation, the judge ruled and ordered that indeed Britam must disclose the said audit reports if they are relying on them to allege theft by its former employees. Additionally, the judge found Britam’s conduct so unbecoming that it also slapped Britam with the penalty of refunding the accused former staff with the cost of the lawsuit.

Contacted for comment, our source at Britam says that the board is furious with the CEO, Benson Wairegi, why he filed frivolous lawsuits just for the sake of trying to kill competition from former staff. The new investors IFC and Swiss RE are apparently unhappy with Mr. Wairegi and want to see him fired by the end of the year.

The stock has tanked by over 75% since he lost his team to Cytonn and is now trading at below IPO price. Our sources tell us that the new investors, IFC, Swiss Re, and AfricInvest are frustrated because they’re sitting on paper losses, having bought the share price at kshs. 15 and now it is trading at below 9 bob.

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When we contacted a source at Cytonn, she said that “all their games shall come to a sudden and painful end. We are going to go after them for billions of shillings for damages. They are the ones with really big legal issues. The judge was very clear in his ruling. And we can assure you, the so-called forensic audits don’t exist, they have just fixed themselves with their lies”

Sooner or later the market will realize that this is the biggest corporate lie ever perpetrated by a listed company to investors and in plain sight of regulators and international shareholders like IFC and Swiss Re.

Our investigative desk obtains the ruling below.

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Investigations

Shadowy Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki Is On The Run Over Sh3Billion Monthly Tax Evasion And Massive Fraud

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Businessman Humphrey Kariuki.

Kenya’s leading alcoholic spirits manufacturer Africa Spirits Limited (ASL) is on the spot following a raid conducted by DCI and Kenya Revenue Authority officers. The joint raid that was conducted at the company’s factory in Thika was headed by the head of Flying Squad Musa Yego in conjunction with senior officials from KRA.

Investigators from KRA and DCI during the raid seized around 21 million counterfeit excise stamps and 312,000 litres of suspected illicit ethanol with an estimated tax potential of Sh. 3billion monthly at Africa Spirits factory in Thika, in an operation that commenced on 31st January 2019.

Yego said they conducted the raid following a tip-off. He added they were also investigating possibility of production of sub-standard alcohol in the factory. “We have arrested three employees who would be arraigned in court. We are also looking for the owner of the company,” said Yego. Ann Iringu a deputy commissioner at KRA said the raid was geared towards fighting illicit trade. Iringu said they were also investigating to see if the company conforms to taxation laws.

She added they had also confiscated some of KRA stamps.“We will also carry out investigations to ascertain if ethanol that has been confiscated here is illicit and if alcohol production going on in the factory is illegal,” said Ms Ngugi. The KRA official said ongoing investigations which will take about a week will reveal if the company has been evading tax and to what extent. She appealed to KRA officials at the country’s border points to be vigilant in order to ensure no illegal goods get access to the Kenyan market.

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Established in 2004, African Sprit Limited has been instrumental in shaping the local alcohol beverage market, with its brands leading various segments of Brandy, Gin and Vodka.

Some of it products include Legend Gold Brandy, Blue moon Vodka, Blue Moon Vodka flavors (Apple, Mango & Ginger), Gypsy King Gin and The Furaha Range among others.

African Spirit Limited is owned by shadowy Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki who has been implicated in other scandals including drug trafficking even though the courts recently cleared his name of the accusations. Kariuki who co owns empire with Harun Mwau are said to be falling apart after a 40 year partnership.

The two were named in the drug cartel. Amongst their known businesses includes The Hub an upmarket mall in Karen, Mount Kenya Safari Club In Nanyuki, Wines of the world amongst many others that we shall mention in our subsequent series in exposing a long history of fraud including Kariuki’s Involvement in South Sudan war where his oil company was involved in looting the funds and fueling the escalating war.

Last year, the government scuttled Wine of the World Beverages bid to exclusively import and distribute exotic wine and spirit brands from seven international suppliers to avert a monopoly.

In a statement, the Competition Authority of Kenya said the company’s exclusive distributorship agreements with the distributors would have seen it dominate the market and lock out rivals at the expense of consumers.

His roots in South Sudan is so deep that Salva Kirr spends at his opulent Dik Dik Gardens, Kileleshwa home. Kiir In a report by Sentry was named amongst South Sudan’s leaders use the country’s oil wealth to get rich and terrorize civilians.

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Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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Investigations

‪DCI Recommends Charges Against Five Local Banks Over Involvement In The NYS II Heist As DPP Haji Forms Team To Review Files‬

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DPP Noordin Haji.

Trouble looms for banks and officials who were involved in the illegal NYS II transactions a scandal that saw Sh8B embezzled. DPP Noordin has issued a statement on the progress following investigations on the marked banks by the DCI.

DCI investigations as directed by the DPP on the criminal culpability has found five banks liable; Standard Chartered, KCB, Equity,Co-Op bank and DTB all have a case to answer. The banks violated restrictions that govern banks in Kenya by facilitating flow of proceeds from crime and money laundering.

Investigations established that the Standard Chartered Bank received a total of Sh.1,628,902,000 between January 2016 and April 2018 out of which Sh.588,558,000 was suspiciously transacted by bank’ Officials without reporting to the Financial Reporting Center as opposed to the POCAMLA regulations.

KCB according to the investigations had received Sh800M of which Sh148,397,000 was suspiciously transacted by bank officials without sticking to the POCAMLA regulations.

Equity Bank received Sh.886,426,904 and that Sh264,200,000 and USD58,000 was transacted without adherence to the regulations.

Diamond Trust Bank which is currently under prove over involvement in helping Dusit terrorists launder their money for the attack, is in the frying pan as well. Investigations reveal that, the bank had received Sh.164M out of which Sh27,946,298 went without being captured by the regulatory board.

Co-Op Bank received Sh.250M and suspiciously transacted Sh.25M without reporting. DPP has since constituted a team of senior prosecutors who’ll review the files and give recommendations in the next two weeks.

DTB had been fined Sh56 million by CBK while Co-operative Bank will pay Sh20 million. The five banks handled a total of Sh3.5 billion from NYS with StanChart handling the largest transaction worth Sh1.6 billion followed by Equity Bank at Sh886 million, while KCBprocesses Sh639 million. The same banks involved in the NYS I are also the ones being chopped over NYS II. It seems the fines never worked so the punishment this time should even be heavier.

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