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Man ordered to return Sh1.1b paid for supplying ‘air’ to NYS

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The anti-corruption court has ordered one of the suspects in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal to forfeit Sh1.1 billion to the State.

James Thuita Nderitu is said to have received Sh1.1 billion from NYS between March and October 2017 for goods and services that he did not deliver, yet the money flowed into his 10 bank accounts.

In his defence, Mr Thuita told the court that his business involves transferring money from one entity to another.Questioned further, he argued that he runs a wide range of businesses.

Thuita  produced two payment entries from the Lands ministry to his accounts, one for Sh24 million, the other for Sh36 million, to prove that he has been doing business with a number of government entities outside of the NYS.

Asset recovery

The explanation, however, failed to convince Justice Mumbi Ngugi, who on Wednesday allowed the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) to go after the suspect’s wealth.According to Justice Ngugi, Thuita failed to show what he supplied to the NYS for the money he received.

“In my view, the respondents needed to go beyond the allegation that they have wide-ranging businesses and show how these businesses translated to the credits of millions from the State Department of Public Service and Youth under which the National Youth Service falls,” ruled Ngugi.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora

Lawyer Peter Ngumi for ARA told the court that Thuita’s hand in the NYS cookie jar was traced through five companies: Flagstone Merchants Ltd, Firstling Supplies Ltd, Excella Supplies Ltd, Flagstone Co Ltd, and Interscope Tech and Services.It is through these companies – one of which Thuita co-owned with his estranged wife Yvonne Wanjiku, and another with Betty Wajewa, who according to court records is the suspect’s wife – that the NYS loot came in, was distributed and the bigger chunk of it vanished.

By the time ARA was combing through Thuita’s accounts in 2018, only Sh41 million was left across two bank accounts.“Upon analysing the bank statements and documents concerning the accounts of the respondents, it emerged that they received funds fraudulently from the NYS and associates, split in several transactions,” the court heard.

“The money received from NYS and associates through their business entities and personal accounts was further intra-transferred into accounts owned by their family members and associates,” Mr Ngumi told the court.

Some of the stolen money, the court heard, ended up as tax paid to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).The court was told that the taxman may have earned Sh1 million from the loot, which can neither be frozen nor recovered.The court further heard that Thuita received Sh195 million from NYS on March 21, 2017.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora

However, the court concluded that the money that landed in his accounts in the first payment was higher, with Ngugi noting that the actual amount was Sh235 million.It also emerged that in a span of a week – between July 4 and July 13, 2017 – Firstling Supplies, a company Thuita co-owned with Ms Wanjiku, received Sh795 million wired in eight instalments.The account now has Sh6.28 million.

Wired cash

The court heard that Wanjiku and Thuita were once married but at the time the case was filed, they had separated. Thuita is said to have wired Wanjiku an unknown amount of money in child support.

He, however, told the court to leave the mother of his children out of the case, claiming that she was not involved in running the business after their separation.He also wired Sh2 million from the Firstling Supplies account to Ms Wajewa, his second wife.

In court, Thuita argued that payment and movement of money did not amount to laundering.  He told the court that his bank accounts proved that he is a businessman who has legitimate dealings with various government entities.He further argued that forfeiting wealth to the State should only happen after a suspect is convicted by a criminal court, which he has not been.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora

“The right forum in which a conviction can be made and a declaration that property is ill-gotten is the criminal court,” he said“The money in contention is the subject of a trial court. It is at the trial court that a finding will be made that a crime was committed.”Thuita, alongside former Youth and Gender Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo, is facing fraud charges.

Last week, Ngugi ordered Mrs Omollo to forfeit Sh33 million  to the State, ruling that she could not explain how she earned it.The former PS had told the court that the money was earned from farming, her salary and her husband’s salary from a consultancy firm in South Sudan.

By Standard.co.ke

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Rich men the target of violent robberies in fake online love affairs

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On November 28 last year, American Philipe Chiliade landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to meet his gay lovers whom he had fallen in love with after a brief encounter on Facebook.

Chiliade was chauffeured out of the airport in a cab and taken to a single room in Pipeline estate in Nairobi, where his life would turn into misery, in the hands of the purported lovers.

He was extensively tortured and robbed of everything by men who had promised romance but left him nursing serious injuries while slowly accepting the reality that he had lost everything to lust.

He was rescued by members of the public who intercepted a car he was being driven in back to the JKIA – where he was to be dumped.

The man driving the car – Fredrick Mutua – was handed over to officers at Embakasi Police Station.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

During interrogation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mutua claimed he had been invited by his cousins to cook for ‘friend’, Chiliade, as they attended to some other matters to attend to. He further claimed that he had travelled from Kithyoko in Machakos County to do the errand for a fee.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora

Detectives believed him after they established that Chiliade had been hoodwinked to travel to Nairobi from South Africa and had not communicated to Mutua prior to the incident. They were seemingly wrong.

Mutua was part of the four-man gang. His three accomplices had escaped with Chiliade’s money believed to be more Sh2 million, his travel documents and other personal belongings.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Chiliade had left his husband after he was hoodwinked by his newfound lovers, unaware that their intention was to rob him.

On December 2, 2019, Inspector Anderson Miriti of Embakasi DCI offices presented Mutua at Makadara Law Courts seeking orders to hold him for a week to assist police trace his cousins.

Mr Miriti told Senior Principal Magistrate Stephen Jalang’o that investigators were gathering evidence from JKIA and Kithyoko where the suspects were believed to have taken the loot, and Mutua would be a prosecution witness.

Catherine Mumbi Kivuva, a suspect in one of the cases.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Mutua was freed thereafter as DCI continued to pursue his three cousins wanted for the crime.

Things went silent until Sunday, October 11, this year when Mutua was arrested in Ruaka, where he was caught red-handed while torturing and robbing Turkish national Bubak Amrullah.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora

Police say Amrullah had been lured into the house by Mutua’s female accomplice, Catherine Mumbi Kivuva, when he (Mutua) and his cousins Bernard Mbunga and Kelvin Nzioki descended on him.

Fredrick Mutiso at Makadara law courts on December 2 last year.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

The DCI detectives from Lang’ata were trailing Mutua and his accomplices in connection with a robbery in Imara Daima, Nairobi, where an Asian businessman was robbed after he went to meet his online lover who invited him to her house for sex.

The businessman had gone to Mutua’s cousin Mary Mukii Kioko’s house when he was attacked.

Online dating

Ms Kioko, an actress with a production outfit in Machakos, was charged with violently robbing the victim of Sh453,000 jointly with others while armed with a knife on September 22 in Lang’ata.

Deelano Kiilu.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Her cousins, Mr Mutua, Mr Mbunga and Mr Nzioki are all in custody at the Nyayo police station while Ms Kioko is awaiting bail and bond application ruling after Chief Magistrate Abdul Lorot of Kibera Law Courts asked for her social inquiry report before setting the terms.

The four suspects in police custody had escaped DCI’s dragnet in Imara Daima in Embakasi on October 3, where their cousins Ms Kioko and Mr Mutua’s brother Gideon Mbusu were arrested.

Lang’ata police commander Gregory Mutiso said police have identified the online dating-related robbery as a new trend in crime involving criminals who are luring men on the internet.

Mr Mutiso said the gangs are targeting wealthy men who have families and reputations at stake. These cases increased after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with many people forced to stay and work indoors.

Mr Mutiso said the biggest challenge in bring the culprits to book is the reluctance of the victims to come forward and report after they have been robbed.

For example, the Asian victim allegedly robbed by Ms Kioko and her accomplices claimed he was abducted in Nairobi West although he met the suspects on Mombasa Road.

“We have seen reluctance among some men who don’t want to report because some of them are family men and being exposed. We have a challenge because others don’t even want the cases to proceed. I know many have been robbed but don’t want to come out because for fear of being embarrassed,” Mr Mutiso said.

“In one case, a complainant, who was robbed nearly half a million, has completely declined to record a statement. Even if you take the suspect to court, they will eventually be acquitted.

Some of the items recovered from Catherine Kivuva’s house, according to detectives.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

“I am warning men to be careful. If you are seeking a relationship, date a person that you can see and not online because you don’t know the person you are chatting with. These men are using pictures of beautiful and curvy women to lure you and very few (men) can resist,” he added.

Mr Mutiso is appealing to men who have been robbed in this manner to forward and report to the police.

He says an identification parade will be conducted to pick out the culprits, then cases will be referred to the police jurisdictions where the crimes happened.

The police boss said detectives are ready to help all men who have been robbed in the same way and promised confidentiality.

These criminals not only target foreigners.

A 38-year-old woman who lured her online lover, before four men, including one claiming to be her husband, stormed the house and joined her in allegedly robbing him, was charged with robbery with violence before the Makadara Law Courts on June 24.

Eunice Wambui was charged with robbing Dennis Ntabo of his phone worth Sh23,000, an ATM card, a chain worth Sh1,500 and Sh5,000 in Kahawa West in Nairobi on May 18.

She was also accused of transferring Sh15,946 from Ntabo’s M-Pesa account.

Mr Ntabo, 32, was delivering electronics to a client and decided to contact Ms Wambui – his then Facebook girlfriend – to quarantine in her house because he could not beat the then 7pm curfew deadline.

Ms Wambui took him to her house and, a few minutes later, four men stormed the house and tortured him the whole night.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Protection and Safety Association of Kenya (PROSAK) Secretary-General Deelano Kiilu said the incidents, which are spiking in the country, are a result of the Covid-19 pandemic because people have been forced to stay at home and remain online.

As such, Kiiu explains, men on the internet begin to live in the universe surrounded by galaxies of online activities.

This, combined with psychological pressure and loneliness, especially for single men, Kiilu says, has presented a great opportunity for criminals easily lure their victims into their traps.

Honey traps

“What we are seeing is a trend called the honey trap. A man will stumble on a picture or a video of a very beautiful ‘woman’ online who he will then be tempted to reach out to and to chat with. She will seem very open and willing to talk to him and will slowly entice him into a relationship on the internet,” Kiilu says.

“When a man believes he is going to get value out of that relationship, he is then lured into a trap of physical entanglement with this ‘woman’. But that occurs at either the ‘woman’s’ home or in a secluded location where he can be taken advantage of by ‘her’ collaborators in the activity.”

Mr Kiilu said the women are aware that psychologically men are attracted to beauty so the women are using that allure to draw the man into the honey trap.

The worst scenarios that have been perpetrated are men posing as women online to entice a man into an entanglement.

But when the man reaches the destination, he finds men waiting for him. They will pounce on him, blackmail, torture and even rob him as in the recent cases.

Mr Kiilu said people create personas on various online dating portals.

Sometimes, Mr Kiilu said, the traps can be laid on an innocent Facebook page, Instagram or Snapchat and other dating sites like Tinder and Grindr.

A victim then finds himself lured into an online conversation. The scammers are usually reluctant to have a telephone conversation but are willing to have a lot of online chatting, say all the right things and lure a man, Mr Kiilu said.

“When they use this honey trap to lure a man to get to the particular location, the game is over. He is robbed of what he has and abandoned. In a lot of the cases we have seen, since the victims fear embarrassment, they don’t report to the police. They decide to leave and live very quietly,” Mr Kiilu said.

“In one incident that happened in Ngumo estate, a man woke up and found himself naked in a bed in his hotel room. The hotel management told him that he came in with some women and paid for everything. Apperently, the man woke up three days later without a single cent and his bank accounts cleaned. His ATM cards had been used to wipe clean his banlk accounts.”

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Ruth Matete welcomes bouncing baby girl 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Gospel singer Ruth Matete has finally welcomed a bouncing baby girl, Toluwa, months after her husband’s demise.

Sources have intimated that the Tusker Project Fame (TPF) winner went into about earlier in the week before her due date and delivered through Caesarian Section (CS)

Taking to Instagram, the singer acknowledged the warm wishes sent by fans and friends stating that her bundle of joy had arrived.

“I have not ignored your kind and warm messages of congratulations. Thank you so much glory to God! Ni mimi wenyu, Mchungaji Ruth Matete, ukipenda mama Toluwa, ukipenda Madam big belle,” she wrote.

Last month, the singer opened up on dealing with grief months after her husband died due to sustained injuries from a gas accident at home.

Through an Instagram post, the singer narrated that grief was not an easy thing to deal with as some days are completely hard.

She further indicated that she sometimes gets conflicted about taking too long mourning about her late husband while at the same time she thinks she is being hard on herself.

“Truth is some days are very hard. When death knocks at your door, there’s nothing you can do.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora

“Some days, voices in my head tell me am taking too long in this mourning phase. But I have made up my mind not to be hard on myself,” she wrote.

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Sonko gives City tenants six months waiver on rent

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has extended rent waiver for tenants residing in City County Government houses for six more months citing COVID-19 financial challenges.

In a statement, Sonko accused officers of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) of harassing vulnerable city residents over rent arrears despite the current economic crisis occasioned by the pandemic.

“My attention has been drawn to the outcry of a majority of tenants occupying residential houses belonging to the Nairobi City County Government, following persistent harassment by officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) over rent arrears

“I do hereby extend the waiver earlier granted for a period of a further six (6) months from the date of this letter, as our residents continue to recover economically from the effects the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sonko said.

The Governor’s move is expected to trigger a standoff with the Major General Mohamed Badi-led Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and tenants

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Ngirita loses her cool, says her son can't speak German anymore and has become a chokora
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