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3 relatives in court over theft of Sh50m from Thika Bank

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Three relatives suspected to be behind the theft of Sh50 million from the Thika KCB Bank branch last week have been charged in court even as details of their arrest and recovery of part of the cash remained a mystery.

Thieves accessed the bank’s strong room after digging an underground tunnel a week ago and made away with the money.

The three suspects, Halford Munene Murakaru, 32, his brother Charles Mwangi Murakaru, 30, and their cousin, Julius Ndungu Wainaina, 30, were arrested on Saturday at Marurui in Kasarani, Nairobi, following a tip off to the police.

The suspects, who appeared emotionless, were Monday charged with breaking into the bank and stealing money as well as handling stolen money after they were linked to an estimated Sh20 million that was recovered from a rented residential house in Juja on the same day they were arrested.

According to the charge sheet, on diverse days between November 18 and 20, the three, jointly with others not in court, broke and entered the bank through an underground tunnel and stole Sh52.65 million.

They denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Teresia Murigi, who remanded them until November 30 when a determination on whether they will be released on bond will be made.

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This was after the prosecution, led by State Counsel Stella Oyagi, successfully applied to have them detained on grounds that they were likely to interfere with the case if released and that they were likely to flee.

Ms Oyagi said reliable reports indicated that before their arrest, they were planning to leave the country.

Mr Samuel N’gan’ga, who is the bank’s branch manager, has been listed as one of the witnesses in the case.

GRADUATES

Mr Munene is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while Mr Ndung’u graduated with a degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Nairobi.

Mr Mwangi declined to disclose to the police the university he went to, although he is a holder of a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, and, together with his brother, they are reported to have studied at Nyeri High School where they scored As.

Police said the three were behind the leasing of a stall in a commercial premises next to the bank, ostensibly to run a bookshop, although there is a mastermind and the officers said they are following leads that will lead to his arrest.

Thika police boss Willy Simba and the region’s head of criminal investigations Mr Linus Owango declined to give the exact circumstances of the arrest of the three suspects and the subsequent recovery of the money, only saying that the suspects led them to where the money was hidden.

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According to Mr Simba, the suspects, who in the entire court process managed to hide their faces, had rented a house in Marurui estate which is in Kasarani division.

NEIGHBOURS

Neighbours who became suspicious of them notified the police and after being interrogated, the suspects led them to the Juja house where they found the cash stuffed in plastic tanks.

However, Mr Simba declined to reveal what made the neighbours in Marurui suspicious.

He also did not reveal their connection with a women who is reported to have rented the house where the money was found.

On his part Mr Owango, said the money and the suspects were found in both Juja and Marurui although the latter did not appear in the charge sheet.

The suspect’s lawyer, Zacy Opiyo, while applying for bond, told the court that he was informed that the suspects were arrested in a house in Thika.

The landlord of the house where the money was recovered told Nation that last week, a lady approached the caretaker with the intention of renting one of the units and brought some of the items which may have included the money into the house.

The arrest of the three brings to five the number of suspects arrested in connection with the heist.

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The caretaker and the custodian of the keys to the commercial premises where the suspects had leased a stall were arrested and arraigned in court last week and the police were allowed to continue detaining them to facilitate investigations.

-nation.co.ke

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Optiven Foundation Spreads hope to the vulnerable Amidst Covid Pandemic

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As we gear towards alleviate poverty levels in our society, the Optiven Foundation has reached out to support
FLOMINA children’s home. Located in Nairobi’s Soweto area, the home was the recipient of assorted food stuffs including cereals, pulses and vegetable oil.

More than 65 vulnerable children some who are orphaned , abandoned or living with HIV & AIDs, got reasons to smile courtesy of Optiven Foundation.

As the eyes on the community, the Foundation’s desire is to transform & improve the livelihood of the vulnerable families in our society. This is by offering them support that includes basic food stuff. We thank all those who support the optiven vision of economically and socially empowering the communities

How to Easily Partner & Be a Philanthropist TODAY

1. Support a deserving needy person.
Mpesa Paybill: 898 630.
Account name: Donation

2. https://web.facebook.com/pg/optivenfoundation/reviews ( like our page & drop a comment) if a beneficiary, drop us a review & rate us

For more information reach us on +254 718 776 033 or info@optivenfoundation.org | www.optivenfoundation.org

READ ALSO:   MULTIPLE VIDEOS: Miguna's death threat claims began way back in 2012
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What is happening in Amani Ridge the Place of Peace

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Amani Ridge the place of Peace is giving you an opportunity to build your home in a serene, scenic and natural environment.

It remains unparalleled facility with top notch value additions. Perimeter wall, razor wire,solar street lights, a welcoming landscaping work with a beautiful fountain and now a cabro- paved entry to 300 stunning homes to-be.

To become a part of this neighborhood, ensure that you or your friend book soonest from the 23
1/4 acre plots remaining.

Call us now:
0790300300 or 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

Experience the difference

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Miguna unceremoniously whisked out of Kenya
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Business

Safe rides: Introducing the all-female taxi

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Say you are a woman, it is 11pm and you need a taxi ride urgently. You may have heard horrendous stories of female passengers in a male driven taxi that makes you recoil and opt to cancel the ride, but you need it, and you are alone.

Getting in the taxi, worry knocks and you start having wild ideas of your escape plan, just in case. You check the child lock and confirm that your phone is charged, before sending a screenshot of your taxi details to a friend – if anything happens, they will have a clue of where to start.

Will it be comforting to say that you are not alone?

This comfort factor for women is in a female chauffeured taxi called An Nisa, a taxi company whose vehicles only carry women and children, limited to pre-teen male.

Fellow women

“I wanted a taxi service that would make women feel comfortable throughout their journey. Women are more maternal and women feel more comfortable being driven by fellow women,” says  Khawlah Habib, founder of An Nisa.

An Nisa, which means women in the Arabic language, is a solution to women and mothers who may have had insecurities when they use other taxi services.

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Whilst the analogy of prevention being better than cure is mostly used in medicine, Ms Habib says it perfectly fits her idea of having a female passenger being driven by a woman.

“I did a lot of research and talked to a number of women who narrated their unpleasant experiences, which made me see the need of coming up with a female-only taxi,” says Ms Habib.

When it was launched in 2018, there were more than 1,000 downloads and requests to use their service within a week. Unfortunately, at the time this article was written, the app was under maintenance so all bookings are still made on call.

Affirmative nod

“Men also call me to let me know that the ladies in their lives, or children, would wish to use An Nisa as a mode of transport, and that tells you that the worry is felt by both genders,” says Ms Habib.

An Nisa today, has more than 50 female drivers that work mainly in Nairobi and Mombasa.

It is even a feel-good option for female taxi drivers. Beatrice Wambui, a 30-year-oldwho has been a taxi driver for ten years now, has an affirmative nod for the An Nisa experience.

Ms Wambui juggles between all the online taxi service providers available in Nairobi. But says: “Having an An Nisa client feels safe, because I already know it is a fellow woman coming on board.”

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Although she may not be affected much when she uses the other online taxi services, the discrimination starts from the passenger.

“One time I got a client request for my ride, when I accepted the request and they found out that it was a woman behind the wheel, they cancelled, and I felt so bad,” Ms Wambui says.

Late night ride

With An Nisa, she says, the expectation and reality are usually in synchrony. So, once a client calls in, they know that it is a woman who will drive them, so they do not have any reservations because that is what they sign up for.

Ms Habib does not just employ any woman to be her driver.

“I prefer drivers who have driven for a while, say 10 years or more, not less and should comply with all NTSA (National Transport and Safety Authority) requirements.”

And for clients who may want a late night ride, or a very early ride; say to the airport, they make advanced booking so that safety precautions including the driver’s, are considered.

Curfew

“I had to apply for a curfew pass that allows me to pick and drop off clients who travel in the wee hours of the night. With the pandemic, I insist that the client wears a face mask and sits on the back seat,” adds Ms Wambui.

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For safety, An Nisa has partnered with Lady Askari, a company that offers protection services to women. The services, just like An Nisa, are provided by female trained security guards.

by nation.africa

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