Family bank has been ordered to pay back Sh24.5 million which will be deposited into the account of the NYS and a balance of Sh40 million that will be paid as a Court fine after it was convicted of money-laundering charges in relation to a Sh1.6 billion scam.
This is after the bank agreed to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the DPP in a case in which the institution and its senior managers
Are charged with 6 counts failing to report unusual transactions relating to an account held by NYS suspect Josephine Kabura.
Lawyer Waweru Gatonye for the bank told Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi that a board meeting resolution agreed to have John (Head of Security) take a plea on behalf of the bank.
Kingori on behalf of the bank pleaded guilty to 6 counts of failure to report suspicious transactions.
At some point Andayi asked Kingori if he was ready to be imprisoned on behalf of the bank.
“Mr. Kingori you are aware that if you are convicted you will be jailed. Are you ready to be imprisoned on behalf of Family bank”? He posed.
Andayi pointed out that the Court was not bound by the plea agreement and could impose its own sentence.
Dorcas Odour, the Deputy Director of Public prosecution urged the Court to accept the plea bargain agreement saying that the bank has cooperated with CBK and investigators. She added that the bank has agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in the NYS season 2 cases that are pending in Court.
“Family bank has been cooperating with investigators and the regulator. They have also put in mechanisms to avoid such infractions in the future.” she argued.
She also said the conviction of the Bank will set a record where the bank becomes the first financial institution to be convicted of charges of Money -laundering.
Oduor told the Court that is in the public Interest for the bank to pay a monetary fine because it is not a physical entity “Justice has been done, and the rights of the victims has also upheld”. She added.
However, the fate of the bank’s former MD, Peter Munyiri and bank employees hangs in the balance after the institution was discharged from the proceedings.
Their lawyer asked the court to withdraw charges against them because they were acting as employees of the bank. Oduor objected to the request saying the accused must take personal responsibly for their actions.” The accused acted on their own volition and committed the offenses on behalf of the bank, for which they must take responsibility”, she contended.
Munyiri was charged alongside former 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 Kabura, who is the chief suspect, using three bank accounts held at the bank.
The Court will hear the matter in April 16, 2019 where the remaining suspects are expected to make an application to have charges against them withdrawn.
Should the bank fail to pay the fine it’s property will be attached.