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Kitui’s Sh 1.5 million microfinance heist suspects freed on bond

Five suspects accused with the heist of Sh 1.5 million from a Kitui micro finance institution were on Monday released on a personal bond of Sh75, 000 each.

Appearing before Principal Magistrate Johnstone Munguti, the five who included Faith Mwikali-a cashier, officer in-charge of the safe Amos Nzioki, Kisamwa Nguta-Watchman, Nancy Safari-Customer care and Tracy Kalungi-a credit officer are employees of Itoleka Financial Services Association’s Mutune branch in Kitui Central.

According to the police, the suspects are said to have dug a tunnel which they used to access the banking hall on Friday night. They left what is suspected to be incriminating evidence at the scene; the equipment used to dig the tunnel.

Kitui Central Police Commander Waqo Abduba said that the night guard who was on duty on Friday alleged that he did not hear any commotion.

The charge sheet indicates that the bank employees decided to keep cash in their office desk drawers instead of using the bank’s safes.

The court denied detectives’ plea to detain the suspects for 14 days pending the completion of investigations before proceeding with the hearing.

The court objected and released the suspects on personal bonds adding that the police are at liberty to re-arrest the suspects and charge them afresh.

Among the clues the sleuths are looking at, is the establishment of how the suspects managed to dig a tunnel and break into the banking hall unnoticed, despite provision of security round the clock.

The bank’s night guard discovered the huge hole on the wall before he informed the police on Saturday morning who swung into action and managed to arrest the five suspects.

Similarly, in 2017 robbers accessed KCB Thika Branch via a tunnel they had dug and removed five containers of 50-real notes, with an estimated value of Sh50 million.

According to police, three months before the incident, the criminals had rented a commercial property in Thika town next to the KCB bank premises before digging the 120 metre-tunnel that helped them access the bank’s vault.

The gang had renovated the property and put up a sign indicating it was a landscaping company selling both natural and artificial grass as well as other plants.

By Yobesh Onwong’a

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