Banks and financial institutions in Nairobi alone have lost more than Sh75 million to fraudsters in May alone according to latest figures from the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit.
The amount could however be more because detectives have not finalised their investigations.
According to the BFIU, fraudsters embezzled Sh75.7 million from Equity bank, Cooperative Bank, Barclays Bank, Southern Credit Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, UBA Bank, National Bank of Kenya, Credit Bank Ltd, CFC bank and Investment & Mortgages bank in May.
Most thefts involve computer fraud through Electronic Funds Transfer, cheque fraud, identity theft, stealing by servant, forgery and loan transfer.
Equity Bank reported ten fraud and attempted fraud cases while Cooperative Bank of Kenya was targeted nine times. There were five cases at Barclays Bank and two at Standard Chartered Bank.
Only Sh6.8 million of the Sh75.7 million has been recovered by the financial institutions in cases involving 58 male and 19 female suspects.
Fifteen of the acused have been convicted and six acquitted while twenty one cases are pending before court and 28 are still under investigation.
In one case, Patrick Irungu Macharia appeared in court accused of stealing Sh17,480,000 from Credit Bank through computer fraud. The hearing of the case is scheduled on July 25.
Five other suspects namely Fredrick Mbela, Jacqueline Ahwayo, Nixon K. Tanui, Alice W. Ndambuki and Ngami Nzueni are accused of stealing Sh18,345,789 from National Bank of Kenya while Nathan Muthama is accused of defrauding UBA bank of Sh 4.9 million
Veneradah W.B Muhati, Milli Eve Akoth and Jacob Mboya were accused of stealing Sh 2.5 million from Southern Credit Bank through cheque fraud but were acquitted after the custodian of the cheques failed to explain how he lost them.
An unknown individual currently under investigation stole Sh4.9 million from UBA bank through EFT but only Sh300,000 has been recovered.
In another case an Equity Bank employee stole Sh1.5 million through forgery and another obtained Sh1.7 million through EFT from Barclays Bank by false pretences.
Hamisi Mzari Rashid alias George Ndecu Mbugua who had been accused of impersonating and stealing Sh2.6 million from Standard Chartered Bank was on May 19 fined Sh 560,000 or imprisonment to twelve months.
By Dominic Wabala