The Banking Fraud Investigations Unit, which is at the centre of the National Youth Service scandal, is one of the most lucrative postings for police officers in the National Police Service.
Officers posted there are better paid because they draw monthly remuneration from the Central Bank.
The unit is in the spotlight because its boss, Assistant Inspector-General of Police Joseph Kanyita Mugwanja, has been adversely mentioned in the NYS saga.
According to an affidavit by Ms Josephine Kabura Irungu, Mr Mugwanja received a Sh80 million bribe to scuttle investigations.
She said of him: “On July 9, 2015, Mr Mugwanja and Mr Matapei Sautet (an investigator at BFIU) came to my office. I was with two members of my staff. I thought they had come to pick the arranged deliveries. As I was preparing to hand over the deliveries Mr Mugwanja game me his phone to speak to someone. The person on the phone was CS Waiguru who instructed that I hand over to Mr Mugwanja Sh80 million I had earlier disclosed to the CS I had kept in two office safes with bags.”
Mr Mugwanja is now being investigated by his boss, Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, on instructions of Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet.
Independent Policing Oversight Authority, which is most feared because it has been known for gathering watertight evidence that wins convictions in court, has since plunged into the probe.
Ipoa Chief Executive Officer Joel Mabonga has since revealed that two anti-fraud officers are under investigation.
“The complaint is on two officers within the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit who are alleged to have conducted targeted investigations against the complaint,” Mabonga said.
Dr Mabonga added: “Ipoa is studying the complaint and will deal appropriately as per its mandate.”
The 50-strong BFIU was established by Mr Joseph Kamau, a former Director of Criminal Investigations.
The deputy head is Mr Isohi Shioso, a former Personal Assistant to Mr Muhoro.
Mr Mugwanja’s line of command is two-pronged; To the DCI and Central Bank Governor.
It is the dream of every policeman to be posted to BFIU.
The remuneration notwithstanding, CBK sponsors them for training in best financial fraud detections, placing them as top competitors for jobs in banks.
The financial courses are usually sponsored locally, or abroad by the Central Bank of Kenya.
In essence, most officers end up being employed by commercial banks after leaving BFIU.
By virtue of training, they usually capture jobs in fraud monitoring units or security.
BFIU posting usually lasts three years.