Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Former Nairobi parliamentary aspirant charged with fraud

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A former Nairobi parliamentary aspirant has been charged with defrauding an international investor of over Sh320 million.

Francis Wambugu Mureithi, who unsuccessfully vied for the Embakasi East parliamentary seat on a Jubilee ticket, was indicted for allegedly defrauding an Eritrean national, Mr Haile Menkerios, of the millions in a tender scam.

Wambugu faced seven counts of obtaining money fraudulently, forgery and uttering forged documents.

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Between April 26 and November 3, 2016, the politician was accused of obtaining fraudulently $3,208,000 (Sh320,800,000) from Mr Menkerios, pretending he had genuine contracts from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply foodstuffs to the Department of Defence (DoD).

Besides the DoD tender, State prosecutor Anderson Gikunda told the court that the accused misrepresented to the investor that he had signed an agreement with Mumias Sugar Company to supply sugar to various enterprises in Nairobi and its environs.

“Wambugu also claimed he had been accorded a business service permit with the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) to erect a weighbridge in Athi River, a fact he knew to be false,” Mr Gikunda told the court.

The politician allegedly used his company known as Doc Find Company Limited to misrepresent the tender to Mr Menkerios.

Wambugu was further charged with purchasing a Sh75 million parcel of land in Karen allegedly using funds from proceeds of crime.

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He was further accused of acquiring stock shares in Ciscos Kenya Limited allegedly using funds he knew were acquired illegally.

Wambugu was further accused of defrauding another investor, Mr Abeba Woldehaimanot Abbay, of Sh25 million by showing a letter of offer signed by Mr ZG Ogendi for the principal secretary MoD for the supply of sand bags for the DoD.

He was further charged with forging MoD Local Purchase Order (LPO) issued to his company to supply 5,000 bags of sugar (50kgs each), 5,000 bags of Mwea Rice (50kgs each), 5,000 bags of beans (90kgs each), 5,000 bags of maize (90kgs each) all worth Sh106 million to Kahawa Barracks.

Five defence lawyers led by Duncan Okatchi told Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku that the criminal case stems from an ongoing commercial case pending at the High Court.

Ms Mutuku freed Wambugu on a cash bail of Sh5 million.

The case will be mentioned in a fortnight for pre-trial directions.

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