CBK SEEKS TO RECOVER SH45 B FROM DIRECTORS AND SHAREHOLDERS OF FALLEN IMPERIAL BANK.

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Lawyer Josephine Kongweno (left) speaking with the Chairman of the Imperial Bank limited Depositors Lobby Group Mahmood Khambiye (right) and a member of the group Shaileen Parmah outside the courtroom at Milimani law court on Tuesday October 5, 2016.

BY SAM ALFAN.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is seeking to recover Sh45 billion from shareholders and directors of Imperial Bank after depositors sought to be enjoined in a new suit in which the directors face a freeze on their assets.

Through lawyer Josephine Kogweno, the depositors say the orders sought in the suit “will affect them directly as account holders and depositors at Imperial Bank Limited”.

“The depositors and their families are already suffering due to the illegalities at the said bank,” an affidavit presented yesterday at the High Court reads.

The central bank and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) have been unable to recover any of the assets of the shareholders and directors.

Imperial Bank Limited (IBL), Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation and Central Bank of Kenya lodged a fresh onslaught on former directors and shareholders accusing them of taking part in “a well orchestrated fraud which led to massive loses that have impacted negatively on the financial sector in the country”.

Preliminary findings from the FTI forensic audit also implicate Former senior managers, Naeem Shah and James Kaburu, as key players in the multi-billion shilling fraud scheme.

The petitioners want the directors compelled to refund  Sh45 billion and to be audited, tracked, and  all the shares and assets they own in connection with the bank after September 15, 2015 frozen.

An order is also sought for advertisement and “individuals with information as to the whereabouts of the defendants, properties to provide the said information for purposes of tracing and recovery.”

Phillip Murgor for the applicants says Mr Alnashir Popat, Mr Anwar Hajee, Mr Jinit Shah, Mr Hanif Mohamed, Mr Mukesh Kumar, Mr Vishnu Dhutia and others allowed the bank’s assets including depositor’s funds to be misappropriated through their failure to prevent the fraud on the bank.

The IBL and KDIC, which are represented by Mr Murgor, say the colossal fraud at lender was permitted by the defendants.

Lawyer Murgor argues that the situation has also subjected the bank customers to undue stress and hardship occasioned by  the loss of their deposits.

“The shareholders are liable for all loss and damage caused by their negligence, gross negligence, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty,” he said.

The lawyer said investigations at Imperial Bank similarly revealed that the directors and shareholders “wholly or partially acquired assets using money that was acquired fraudulently or unlawfully from the bank through various schemes”.

KDIC had previously filed a suit to recover Sh34 billion from Mr Shah, Mr Kaburu and the family of the late Janmohammed, who it claims were all beneficiaries of the mega fraud scheme.

Hearing is currently ongoing in court.

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