COURT TO RULE ON APPLICATION TO DETAIN YOUNG SUSPECTS ACCUSED OF STEALING HALF A BILLION FROM FULIZA.

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Fuliza suspects Isaac Kipkemoi, Gideon Rono, Moses Rono, Collins Kipyegon, Maxwell Njamba, Edwin Kipkorir, Gideon Gitahi, Brenda Chepng’eno and Linda Cherono before a Nairobi Court./PHOTO BY S.A.N.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Eight young men and two women accused of conspiracy to defraud former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family NCBA bank will remain in custody, pending a ruling on whether the police can continue holding them longer.

Through lawyers Felix Kiprono and Ham Lagat, the suspects opposed the application to detain them for seven days, awaiting completion of investigations.

The lawyers submitted that the police did not reveal the offence against the suspect as required by the law.

Kiprono told the court that since the application by the police failed to meet constitutional threshold, there were compelling reasons for the release of the suspects on bail.

He told the court that the some of the suspects were students and others in teaching practice and they have fixed homes, which was known to the police.

Kiprono said the police have not adduced compelling reasons to hold the suspects for more days.

The lawyers added that it was only disclosed to the court that the investigating officers have only recovered 3000 Safaricom sim cards, 10 laptops and motor vehicles, among other items.

The suspects Isaac Kipkemoi, Gideon Rono, Moses Rono, Collins Kipyegon, Maxwell Njamba, Edwin Kipkorir, Gideon Gitahi, Brenda Chepng’eno and Linda Cherono.

They were arrested in Nakuru and Kitale on February 8, 2023 and the DCI wants to hold the suspects to enable his officers complete the investigation over Fuliza fraud.

Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspects fraudulently obtained money from Fuliza, with no intentions of repaying.

The court heard that the complaint in the matter is Noah Cheptumo, the head of security and Investigations at NCBA bank .

The Investigating officer Corporal Knocker Nyasinga, who is attached to the Banking Fraud Investigation unit, said Cheptumo requested them to carry investigations into fraudulent transactions perpetrated through their digital borrowing scheme, known as Fuliza leaving an exposure of Sh449,647,200.

The Investigating officer claims that over 123,000 Mobile phone subscribers opted into Fuliza and took up the loans between January and July 2022.

The SIM cards were, thereafter they were raudulently vacated or switched off and efforts to reach out to the customers were unsuccessful.

The funds were transferred from the registered simcards to various accounts and Mobile banking platforms.

“This is clear case of fraud wherein respondents hatched a meticulous plan of acquiring several simcards , opening many bank accounts and applied for fuliza loans with intention of not paying back,” the investigations officer told the court.

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