5 women among suspects in Sh80m heist

October 4, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – Five female employees of the Co-operative Bank were among eight suspects who faced charges in court on Monday, over the theft of Sh80 million from the bank on Friday.

Others arraigned at the Kibera law Courts were a former CID officer arrested with Sh1.25 million alleged to be part of the loot, plus two other suspects from security firms G4S and Wells Fargo.

The Co-operative Bank staff included Mary Wangui Kimari [Operations Manager] and fellow employees Claire Wairimu Kabau, Eunice Wanaswa, Priscilla Kahuya Jumba and Celnael Atieno Midega.

They faced charges alongside Elvis Kipkorir Too of G4S, Collins Omondi Sangoro of Wells Fargo and former CID officer Collins Okoth Atira.

They all denied charges of stealing Sh80 million from the bank’s headquarters on Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi. The charge sheet showed that they committed the offence [s] jointly with others not before court.

The former police officer faced a separate charge of dishonestly retaining Sh1.25 million believed to be part of the money stolen from the bank.

He was allegedly found with the money along the Ahero-Katitu road in Nyakach on Sunday night.

They denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Cecilia Githua and were remanded in custody until Thursday when their bail application will be determined.

The prosecution objected to their release on bail pending further investigations.

The Head of the Special Crime Prevention Unit Richard Katola told Capital News that they were still looking for suspects who posed as G4S employees and collected Sh80 million from the Co-operative Bank headquarters in Nairobi on Friday.

The bank has not released any statement to the press since the theft occurred on Friday.

G4S security company, on its part, sent a statement to newsrooms on Friday disowning a van which was branded in their corporate colours and logo which was found abandoned in Upper Hill.

"The fraudsters picked up the cash consignment this [Friday] afternoon and later abandoned the van in Kilimani area," G4S Managing Director John Wheather said in a statement.

In his statement, Mr Wheather said the vehicle involved in the incident was a G4S look-alike van and "was kitted and branded like the blue G4S CIT (Cash-In-Transit) vans."

The security company has suffered repeated high profile robberies in the recent past losing hundreds of millions in the last year. The latest heist is the sixth since late last year with the total loss running to almost Sh500 million.

In March the company lost Sh300 million in another robbery in Mombasa.

"We would like to reiterate that G4S is continuously improving its systems and processes, including working closely with the Government as well as instituting stringent staff vetting and monitoring of vehicles, among other measures," said Mr Wheather.

He added: "We emphasise our core values of customer focus, expertise, performance, best people, integrity, collaboration and teamwork to ensure that customer interests are protected."



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