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Policeman dies at billionaire Kariuki’s Thika factory



Police are investigating the circumstances in which an AP officer died at billionaire Humphrey Kariuki-owned Africa Spirits plant in Thika, Kiambu County.

The Administration Police officer is said to have been manning the factory on Saturday when he slipped and died.

Thika Sub-County Deputy Police Commander Mr Bernard Ayoo identified the officer as Police Constable Samuel Njogu Mwaura.

He said the officer died after sliding from a spiral metal staircase within the factory.

He was pronounced dead at Thika Level Five hospital where he had been rushed.

“At the moment we cannot tell the exact circumstances that led to his death. A postmortem shall help establish what exactly happened,” Mr Ayoo said.

An officer who viewed the deceased before he was rushed to the hospital said he sustained some cut at the back of his head.

The body was taken to General Kago mortuary.


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How rogue lawyers, insurers steal from accident survivors



Thousands of accident survivors and victims’ relatives are holding onto hollow hopes of compensation by insurance companies, as a cartel continues to steal their cash in a fraudulent scheme masterminded by rogue lawyers and insurance insiders.

Law firms in collusion with employees of some insurance firms have crafted a racket that leaves the claimants and their lawyers pursuing cases in court long after the claims have been processed and handed to the wrong people. The fraudsters are fleecing insurance firms of millions of shillings in fake claims.

Once a claim has been filed in court, the insurance insiders collude with the lawyers representing the insurer to make a fake change of advocates and slide it into the claim file. The new advocate then pockets the hefty compensation supported by a fake judgement and award which the survivor, their lawyer and even the presiding judge has no idea about.

The real case then proceeds through a slow process and the claimant only realises they have been chasing the wind when they present the claim to the insurer, usually when it is too late. Several insurance firms have fallen victim to the lawyer-aided fraud, with some becoming claimants in cases they have no idea about and giving heavy kickbacks to legal officers in insurance firms.

Underwriters who spoke to the Sunday Nation in confidence said some firms have lost as much as Sh50 million to the fraudsters in one year.

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Jubilee Insurance Kenya, which has identified the rogue law firms and its staff involved in the scheme –  and sealed the loophole – said the fraud is not easy to detect because the real claims sometimes come three years late and the files can be mutilated.

Jubilee’s head of security, fraud and investigation Kiplimo Kebenei said the firm has had about 25 cases, all discovered after execution, within three years.

“We noticed the trend where victims were presenting judgements to ask for compensation          in cases that we had settled long before. Now, we have a rigorous process for verification of all court judgements and we have a maker/checker process to ensure no individual can perform a role from beginning to end. This means that the starter of a claim cannot handle it to completion. It will get approval from a different person, a more senior person or supervisor,” Mr Kebenei said.

The firm paid out Sh19.5 million to fake claimants assisted by a legal officer who had registered a law firm to be used in receiving the quickly processed claims.

 The officer, who was sacked from the firm, is said to have been leading a flashy lifestyle with high-end cars and a classy apartment on Kiambu Road.

Some cases receive double payments, with both the fake and the real claimant being handed cheques sometimes a year apart. But in many cases, the fake claims are higher than the actual award.

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In one such claim in Civil Suit No 626 of 2015, Jubilee paid Sh345,220 more than the genuine court award of Sh600,000 in November 2016, one month before the judgement.

The firm had relied on a fake notice of change of advocates and paid a law firm that had played no role in the court process, according to investigation documents seen by the Sunday Nation.

Several stakeholders expressed shock at the web of fraud, with the survivors waiting for as long as six years to be paid only to realise that they have been waiting for nothing.

Association of Kenya Insurers chief executive Tom Gichuhi termed the news of the racket “shocking”.

“It’s a well-orchestrated scheme with sometimes an emotional play of a victim almost dying and a judgement handwritten to imply the urgency. The fastest ones are toned down to just a few hundreds of thousands and, in a month or so, the real judgement comes out, then a second cheque is written.

“Many underwriters are not aware about this scheme, but it is among the loopholes through which money is siphoned from insurance firms,” said a senior manager in a leading insurance firm.

The manager also accused the Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit under the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of laxity, noting that some of the cases were reported as far back as 2017 but no action had been taken.

READ ALSO:   Police looking for one of the wealthiest Kenyans you probably didn't know of

Efforts to interview IRA officials have not born fruit since November last year.

The unit, formed in 2011, is said to have little capacity to handle the rapidly changing fraud tactics despite being funded by the insurance firms.

But IFIU head Ndumba Thangalani said the regulator has elaborate mechanisms to address claims from people who have not been properly compensated by the underwriters, hence the courts should be the last resort.

“The cases should pass through IRA when a company refuses to honour a claim within the consent period. There is a consumer protection department and even a tribunal to hear complaints, beyond which one can go to court. The IRA can even sanction the insurance firms when they fail to honour their obligations, so I don’t quite understand how the many cases ended up in court so quickly,” Mr Thangalani said.

Fraudsters have been taking advantage of the weak investigation units and lack of data sharing among the players to mint millions through fraud, which is now gobbling up 35 per cent of the insurance industry’s income, according to the IRA. Medical claims are the most prone to fraud, followed by motor insurance.

Official data shows that insurers declined 10,690 claims in the quarter to September 2019, with insiders saying fraud was a major contributor to the decisions.


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Mwangi Kiunjuri forms new political party after being sacked from Cabinet




Mwangi Kiunjuri, former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, has formed a new political party two weeks after being fired from cabinet.

The former CS was fired by President Kenyatta after a mini Cabinet reshuffle on January 14th. He was replaced by former Meru County Governor Peter Munya.

Kiunjuri, a close political friend to Deputy President William Ruto, has formed a new political party called the Service Party, which is in the final steps of being registered. 

Before joining the Cabinet in 2015, Kiunjuri was heading the Grand National Party (GNU), but it was disbanded. 

In a press briefing in Nairobi just after being fired from the cabinet Kiunjuri said he could be making a political comeback with a probability of joining hands with DP Ruto ahead of 2022 general elections.

“With my experience spanning over 25 years, I have a lot to offer. I would continue to serve this country, faithfully in other capacities. Make no mistake; I am not going anywhere. I will be with you around,” said Kuinjuri during a media briefing at Serena Hotel.

He added: “The President’s decision has taken me by no surprise; I thank God, I feel relieved. I have endured lots of humiliation; only God and my family know this. I have given my best in my assignment; I leave with my head high.”

READ ALSO:   Police looking for one of the wealthiest Kenyans you probably didn't know of
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Police boss’ stolen pistol linked to 15 robberies



A pistol stolen two years ago from a senior officer based at police headquarters in Nairobi has been linked to 15 robberies following the arrest of a suspected gangster in Kisumu.

The Jericho pistol, serial number KE KP 44333721, which was reported to have been taken from the officer on March 24, 2018, was seized by Kisumu West sub-county detectives on November 28 last year after raiding the house of a suspected notorious gangster identified as Fredrick Odhiambo Nundu, alias Gilbert Wafula Makokha.

The Sunday Nation has learnt that investigations have since linked the gun to 15 robberies in Kisumu’s Kondele and Milimani estates, Siaya and Bondo in the two years it was in bad hands.

An elaborate forensic and ballistic examination and data analysis conducted by the DCI headquarters-based Ballistic Department and the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau will be used in court.

According to an internal memo, Kisumu West DCI detectives, acting on a tip, raided the suspect’s house and after a search found the loaded pistol alongside a Ceska pistol with six rounds of ammunition hidden above the bathroom ceiling.

The suspect’s wife, identified as Mercy Akinyi, and two men — Enock Ochieng Ochieng and Edward Okumu Owino — were arrested.

DCI detectives have been hunting the suspect since the firearm was recovered in a raid at his Kisumu West/Seme home.

A subsequent ballistic examination on the firearm revealed that the gun was allegedly used in a robbery in Kisumu West’s Kisini village on November 13 last year at about 11:30pm when an unknown number of gangsters on a motorbike attacked and shot at a motorist, injuring him and a passenger.

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Police found five spent cartridges.

A day before, the same gun was reported to have been used by three armed robbers at the Holo market.

It was reported that on November 12, 2019, at around 11:30pm, three suspects attacked a businesswoman who was collecting money from tomato sales and shot her as she was being driven in an Isuzu truck.

They robbed her of Sh17,000 and mobile phones.

 Four days earlier on November 8, the gun had been used in a robbery in Bondo township when armed men attempted to rob a wines and spirits shop after 11pm during which they fired three times before escaping. The incident was reported at the Bondo DCI.

The gun was again linked to a robbery in Siaya on November 3, 2019 when armed gangsters stormed Eunice Auma Ochieng’s house, where a pre-wedding committee was meeting, and shot Emmanuel Baraza Okoth in both legs at about 4pm before robbing them.

Police collected two spent cartridges from the crime scene.

It has also been established through ballistic tests that on November 1, 2019, armed men attempted to rob Dominic Onyango in Bondo township at about 8.30pm during which they fired once.

Kisumu West detectives also received a report that on October 13, 2019, at around 6pm at Ongalo trading centre, three armed men stormed a bar and ordered everyone to lie down before robbing them of valuables. The robbers fired twice.

READ ALSO:   Police looking for one of the wealthiest Kenyans you probably didn't know of

Then on August 13, 2019, at about 6pm, three gangsters riding on a motorcycle attacked Bhayeshi Mandali and his teenage daughters as they were chatting the evening away at their Shamu Court home in Kisumu’s upmarket Milimani estate.

Two other gangsters attacked his wife, mother-in-law and another daughter. The gang shot once in the air and robbed the family of their mobile phones.

On August 7, 2019, at about 3am in Migosi, as reported to DCI Kondele, four men attacked a motorist as he was waiting for his night guard to open the gate.

The robbers fired one bullet at the gate before escaping.

Ten days earlier on July 28, 2019, at about 11pm, a two-man gang on a motorcycle using the same firearm attacked a motorist driving in Kondele’s Polyview estate. They shot twice at Eunice Ares and two spent cartridges were found by DCI officers at the scene.

Detectives have also linked the gun to a July 25 incident that happened at about 3pm. Two armed men on a motorbike attacked Francis Odhiambo and shot at him twice. Police found two spent cartridges and a live bullet at the scene.

 The biggest heist by the gang could, however, be Sh2 million robbed from a group in Kisumu on July 1, 2019.

According to a report made at the Kisumu West DCI office, a team of Inua Jamii officials had gone to Dago PAG Church to pay beneficiaries when they were attacked by three armed men, who took the money.

READ ALSO:   Police looking for one of the wealthiest Kenyans you probably didn't know of

And on May 4, 2019, it was reported that at about 8:15pm in Kisumu’s Milimani estate, two armed robbers attacked a businessman and his family at their gate.

They shot at the driver’s side of the vehicle and ordered them to get out of the car. They escorted the wife into the house, where she was robbed of Sh300,000, four cheques of an unknown value and a Samsung mobile phone. The spent cartridge found at the crime scene linked the gang to previous robberies.

And in yet another robbery linked to the same gang and firearm, it was reported at Kondele DCI that on April 14 last year at about 3am, Margaret Mului, a resident of Polyview estate, was attacked by two armed men as she parked her car.

The victim screamed, attracting the attention of a neighbour, Daniel Indiazi.

But the robbers shot him in the shoulder and robbed him of Sh12,000.

The victim was rushed to Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu. One spent cartridge was found at the scene.

The Vigilance House-based officer’s gun was on March 14, 2019 again linked to an incident reported at the Kisumu Central Police. At about 8pm in Milimani estate, a motorist was confronted by three gunmen when she approached her gate.

The gunmen fired once at the vehicle and smashed the window before robbing her of Sh48,000 and other valuables. One spent cartridge was found by detectives at the scene.


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