By Amina Faki
As it is in the human nature we don’t even trust our own shadows but with a little effort, we have grown the trust in our banks to safeguard our savings.
Chase Bank ex-bosses sued for stealing 14 billion Kenya shillings for more than a decade. Chase bank through its lawyer filed a suit on Zafrullah Khan, Duncan Kabul, James Mwaura and Makarios Agumbi illegally used their positions to acquire and benefit from the bank’s assets.
The list doesn’t stop there; included in the suit are Ali Cheema, Daniel Mavindu, Antony Gross and Ruth Muthoni and a network of 11 companies to have been used to siphon funds from the collapsed Chase Bank.
These ex-bosses live a flashy lifestyle and have acquired real estate property off the bank’s assets using illicit proceed.
According to Chase Bank Mr Khan, aside from being a calculative investor with a large portfolio in many sectors of the economy, also had a taste for luxury, offering as evidence his ownership of two 60 million shillings top-of-the-range cars — a limited edition Corvette and a Ferrari Dino which were registered in his wife Shehla Khan’s name.
Ms. Khan also received Sh3.5 million for upkeep, which Chase Bank now says was illegally withdrawn from its Central Bank of Kenya settlement account.
The suit has also for the first time indicated how the alleged crime was busted. Investigations found that Chase Bank co-founder Laurent Demey blew the lid on the lender via an email to Mr. Khan and Mr. Kabui, and was copied to Richard Carter, a non-executive director on February 22 last year.
Of the Sh14.9 billion Chase Bank is pursuing, Sh1.05 billion was in bonuses irregularly paid to Mr. Khan while Sh6.9 billion was paid to the network of companies owned by the defendants.
Information gathered from an audit report by Deloitte & Touche also says another Sh8.7 billion was lent to Mr. Khan, Mr. Kabui, Mr. Mwaura and Mr. Agumbi as interest-free loans but disguised in the lender’s books as Islamic banking assets.
Mr. Cheema and Mr. Mavindu have been linked to the scam by virtue of their shareholdings in Rinascimento Global Limited, Nine Fifty Limited, The Lighthouse Property Company, Mathatani Limited and Friends Property Holdings Limited where their co-shareholders were Mr. Khan and Mr. Kabui.
The bank stresses that the assets stolen by Mr. Khan and other top managers are now worth much more than 7.5 billion shillings. The disturbing question is should we still trust our banks with our cash or should this be a lesson to millions of Kenyans?