Ex-Dubai bank chair, former KQ bosses charged over Sh0.5bn theft

Ex-Dubai bank chair, former KQ bosses charged over Sh0.5bn theft

Former Dubai Bank chairman Hassan Zubeidi. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG Former Dubai Bank chairman Hassan Ahmed Zubeidi and former senior managers at Kenya Airways were on Tuesday charged with stealing Sh521.9 million from the national carrier.

Mr Zubeidi was charged together with former managers at KQ, Elijah Itegi Githinji, Grace Wamuyu Mathenge, Jane Wanjiru Kiboi, Jackson Kiruti Njiiri and Elias Kyalo Ngao.

They allegedly committed the offence between 2013 and 2015 at Dubai Bank, which is currently under liquidation.

The Central Bank of Kenya placed Dubai Bank Kenya under a receiver in 2015 after the lender started experiencing liquidity and capital deficiencies which raised concerns that it was unlikely to meet its financial obligations.

They denied seven counts including conspiracy to steal, stealing, forgery and money laundering charges.

Mr Zubeidi was to be charged in 2018 but he moved to the High Court and stopped his prosecution.

The first count stated that all six accused persons conspired to steal Sh521.9 million from Kenya Airways.

Mr Zubeidi and Mr Githinji are further accused of stealing Sh13.5 million at Dubai Bank, Eastleigh branch, an offence they allegedly committed between February 11, 2015, and January 13, 2015. On the third count, the duo was charged with stealing Sh2.5 million at the bank’s Nakuru branch.

Mr Githinji was further charged with two counts of forgery. The court heard that he forged a Citibank advice report for Sh21.9 million and another Sh13.5 million.

Mr Zubeidi was also charged together with Ms Mathenge with stealing Sh8.5 million at Dubai Bank’s Eastleigh branch, between April 13, 2015, and May 27, 2015.

All six were accused of engaging in money laundering contrary to the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Act, leading to the loss of the funds at KQ.The prosecution has lined up six witnesses among them former Kenya Airways chief executive Mbuvi Ngunze.The fraud was first revealed by a whistleblower in July 2015, when a bank guarantee for the supply of fuel to the national carrier was found that it did not exist.The court ordered each of the accused persons to deposit a bond of Sh2 million or alternative cash of Sh300,000, to secure their release. skiplagat@ke.nationmedia.com

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