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Family Bank makes fresh bid to settle NYS scam suit out of court



Family Bank  and some of  its former eight senior managers are now crossing their fingers as they await to know if the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji will allow the bank settle the Ksh 1.6 billion National Youth Service (NYS) money laundering case out of court.

This is the third time for the bank is approaching the DPP in the  case against them relating to alleged money laundering involving the prime suspect in the NYS scam, Josephine Kabura.

The bank through defence lawyers Waweru Gatonye and lawyer Cecil Miller who are representing the bank Chief Executive officer John King’ori yesterday asked Milimani Senior Principal Martha Mutuku to give them two more weeks until December 17 to respond to a proposal by the DPP on their out of court settlement plea.

Gatonye informed the court that they received the proposal on Monday (December 3) and they have not had time to respond to the same.

The defence had lodged fresh negotiations to have the matter settled out of court after the first and second attempts flopped.

“The parties are seeking to settle the matter out of court and we urged the court to give us another time more to engage the different complainants from various government agencies as it has not been possible to conclude the negotiations but now we hope it will go through,” said Gatonye.

The first request was rejected by the than former DPP Keriako Tobiko, while the second one was rejected by the current DPP Haji.

It is said that Family Bank has written several proposal letters to DPP, EACC, Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoronge and PS Public Works seeking to have the matter settle the matter out of court.

King’ori, who is the current CEO of the bank, has since pleaded to the charges on behalf of the bank as the eighth accused person.

In the case he is charged alongside former CEO Peter Munyiri ,KTDA Branch Manager Robert Oscar Nyaga, Anti-money compliance manager Charles Kamau Thiongo, Head of Risk and compliance Raphael Mutinda Ndunda, Operations Supervisor Nancy Njambi , Relationship Platinum manager Meldon Awino Onyango and Customer Service supervisor Josephine Wairi with failure to report significant transactions carried out by the chief suspect Josephine Kabura Irungu’s using three bank accounts held at the bank.

On November 2016, Tobiko ordered seven former employees at mid-tier lender Family Bank be charged with aiding or abetting money laundering as the several nations looked to tighten banking oversight.

Since the accused persons were charged only one witness has given evidence in the matter and later stood down in mid last year following the out of court settlement negotiations.

Some of the accused persons has since objected to the Bank move saying they are not comfortable with the settlement of the matter out of court because Family Bank has no good faith in them because it intends to place blame on them over the alleged transactions.

“We do not support the settlement being pursued by the bank since we have no confidence that Family bank has the best interest for our clients,” said lawyer Wangai Wanjohi who is representing Josephine Wairi (branch customer service supervisor).

Wangohi informed the court that they want the matter to proceed to full hearing so as his client can clear her name of any wrong doing over the alleged money laundering charges.

“We want to be part of the negotiations or the court grants us a hearing date so that we can proceed with the matter to conclusion,” said the lawyer.

Wanjohi said that they would like the matter heard expeditiously because they were just employees and are now being hindered from proceeding with their normal life in light of the criminal case.

“My clients are suffering due to this case and we pray that the mention be the last one granted to the bank so that if nothing is coming out of the negotiations, they be allowed to proceed with the matter so that they can clear their names,” said Wanjohi.

Gatonye responded  that there are genuine efforts being made to bring the whole matter to an end.

“We appreciate that the matter cannot be kept in abeyance and even those who the idea of one further mention should understand that we are only requesting for one more mention date to conclude the negotiations,” said Gatonye.

All the accused persons in the case have denied the charges and were each released on a Ksh 300,000 cash bail or Ksh 1 million bond.

The charge sheet read that between December 22, 2014 and May 19, 2015 at Family Bank Kenya Tea Development Authority Building branch in Nairobi, Munyiri and others failed to report money-laundering suspicions.

The second charge states they that they failed to report unusual transactions relating to an account held by Josephine Kabura under the business name Reinforced Concrete Technologies.


They are also faced with another charge of failing to detect Kabura’s unusual money activities under the name of Roof and All Trading Limited.

Other charges include not reporting money laundering activities and not filing Ksh 1 million cash transactions. The bank has already been fined Ksh 1 million for failing to report large transactions conducted by NYS suspect.

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