8 August 2012

Kenya: Guard Claims APs Snatched Sh13.9 Million At JKIA

Nairobi — A guard employed by security firm Wells Fargo has denied stealing Sh13.9 million from Bank of Africa that was destined for Nairobi from Eldoret on Tuesday.

Charles Otaruk Chebon who was arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Rose Nyambura claims he was robbed of the money at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by three armed men dressed in Administration Police uniform.

He responded in the negative to the charge that read: "On August 7 between the Bank of Africa Eldoret and Nairobi being an employee of Wells Fargo stole £149,000, $6,700 and €4,065 (all equivalent to Sh13,965,460) the property of Wells Fargo which came to you by virtue of your employment."

Chebon also denied a second charge of giving false information to a person employed in the public service (the police) claiming he was kidnapped and robbed of the money on arrival at JKIA.

Magistrate Nyambura ordered that he be remanded at the JKIA police station for two more days and be presented in court on Monday.

He answered 'not true' to the charge that read: "On August 7 at Karen Police station report office within Nairobi county you informed police constable Joseph Njuguna that you were robbed by three persons armed with AK 47 rifles wearing Administration Police Uniform... intending to conceal your involvement in the theft of company cash."

The police, through prosecutor Daniel Musangi, asked the court to allow them to hold him for four days pending the completion of investigations.

Musangi told the court that they needed time to complete investigations including the recovery of exhibits form western Kenya. Musangi further told the court that Chebon was bound to interfere with witnesses that police intended to bring to court if he was released.

Lawyer Bernard Wamalwa representing the suspect, however, opposed the application and instead argued that his client be released on bail.

He contended that the police had no strong reason to hold Chebon for an extra four days and should have brought him to court with evidence enough to sustain a charge.

Police say that the money was to be picked up from JKIA by armed police officers and guards from Wells Fargo.

Police and officials from Wells Fargo officials said that the guard had been escorted to the Eldoret International Airport by armed police before he boarded a plane to Nairobi.

He was supposed to be picked up by an escort team in Nairobi at a designated gate, but showed up at a police station where he reported that he was kidnapped by unknown gunmen upon arrival at JKIA and later dumped in Karen.

He will appear in court again for further directions next Monday.

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