MOMBASA, KENYA: Two bank workers charged with stealing Sh6 million by allegedly sneaking into the bank 60,000 fake American dollars claim the money was introduced from outside the bank when it was being transported to the main vault.
Richard Garama Kazungu and Danson Mwindi Gibran were charged in 2014 of stealing Sh6million from Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).
It is alleged that between August 7 and 26 2014 the two at CBA Nyali Branch being dual vault custodians of the bank, they stole the money.
The two denied ever being involved in the scam and were released on a bond of Sh1 million
Kazungu’s lawyer Stephen Jumbale said that the fake notes were introduced from outside the bank by someone else during the transfer to the central vault at Moi Avenue.
“There is the possibility that the notes were introduced after they were received at the central vault,” Jumbale alleged.
On Wednesday, CBA Nyali Branch Manager Samuel Mbwayo told the Senior Resident Magistrate Edgar Kagoni that he was not sure if the two workers stole the Sh6 million by sneaking 60,000 USD counterfeit notes.
“I cannot categorically say that they stole the money,” said Mbwayo.
Mbwayo said that the fake notes had been returned from their central main vault at Moi Avenue after they were released from the Nyali branch.
Mbwayo said that Kazungu and Gibran were the ones in-charge of the vault and were responsible for preparing the money that was being released to other branches.
He said that Kazungu had been spotted through the CCTV cameras accessing the vault alone against the bank policy.
Mbwayo said that Kazungu and Gibran were supposed to access the vault together at any point and one of them had a key to the vault while the other one had a combination key.
“I was shown a CCTV where one of the custodians (Kazungu) accessed the vault alone,” said Mbwayo.
He, however, admitted that other bank staff and he also accessed the vault but for different reasons.
“I did access the vault. Other than the two custodians, other staff members were able to access the vault for different reasons. But I never saw any of the other staff enter the vault from August 8 up to 28 2014,” said Mbwayo.
He said that there was no audit report of the money lost and he could not tell if the serial numbers found on the fake bills were the ones placed in the box before they were released by the two accused.
“I did not see them introduce fake notes and I cannot be able to tell if the fake currencies were introduced from outside,” said Mbwayo.
Gibran lawyer, Amadi Benjamin while re-examining Ambwayo said that out of the 16 CCTV cameras installed in the bank none recorded his client enter the vault room alone, pocket money in his pocket or envelope or placing notes in a box.
Ambwayo admitted that he did not see Gibran assist Kazungu stash money in an envelope or blow any powder on the money.
Ambwayo also said that Gibran did not approach him with the view of settling the money as Kazungu did before he changed his mind.
However, Ambwayo said that both of the employers were responsible for the vault being the custodians.
Ambwayo said that it was the responsibility of the two to oversee the shipment of the money to the central vault by preparing the currencies and placing them in bags and boxes and handing them to the security.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.