A Barclays Bank branch manager on Thursday denied 18 counts of forgery and stealing Sh14.88 million of clients’ money.
Mr Kennedy Munene Nguu, who manages the Meru County branch, appeared in court alongside his cousin Lucy Marigu Aphaxard and Murang’a businessman John Kuria Mwangi.
The three allegedly conspired with others still at large to steal that amount between June 8, 2019 and January 13.
The 36-year-old manager is accused of accessing the money after forging 18 of the bank's general transaction voucher and alleging they were signed by five customers.
Ms Marigu is accused of stealing Sh8.4 million and Mr Mwangi Sh3,775,000, with the alternative charge of handling stolen goods of the same value.
The two had allegedly received these amounts from Mr Nguu by the time they were arrested.
One of the suspected forgeries indicated that a Mr Jeremiah Rimberia signed a transaction voucher authorising transfer of Sh940,000 yet he was dead.
In 12 similar transactions, Ms Lucy Nduru John is said to have lost Sh10,303,000, Prof Japheth Kithinji Magambo Sh1.8 million, Simon Kaberia Sh850,000 and Ann Gatenga Sh990,000.
The manager reportedly withdrew the money from clients’ accounts, wired it to those of his co-accused and thereafter asked them to deposit it into his account at a different bank.
It was after one client complained that the manager, who has served for two years at the Meru branch, was arrested.
Mr Nguu and the other suspects were apprehended by detectives from the Banking Fraud Investigation Unit.
They all denied the charges before Meru Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung’u.
The suspects applied for lenient bail terms, saying they were not flight risks. They were each released on Sh5 million bond with sureties of the same amount.
The accused also asked the court to authorise the prosecution to supply them with copies of the charge sheet and evidence it will rely on during the trial.
The magistrate ordered the prosecution to supply the suspects with all the documents.
The hearing will begin on March 30.