A Tanzanian couple has been charged alongside two Kenyans for allegedly defrauding a family of a Kenya Defence Forces soldier (KDF) killed by Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia of Sh3.3 million, pretending they were in a position to sell to them tooth paste powder for export.
The suspects are Sostene Julius Masururi, his wife Mary Mugure Kamau alias Caro, John Mugambi Miriti and Mary Wanjiru Kamau.
Mr Sammy Kinuthia, a manager with M-Kopa Solar, who disclosed the source of the money given to the accused, said it was compensation from the government to the family of his slain brother, John Kinuthia.
Giving a detailed narration of how they lost the money to the accused, Mr Kinuthia told Nairobi Senior Resident Magistrate Zainab Abdul that he is the one who convinced his mother in 2016 to release part of the money for the lucrative dental formula powder business.
He said the dental powder was to be sold to a foreigner who was to export it. The deal was brokered by Mr John Mugambi Miriti.
“I convinced my mother to withdraw the money held at Equity Bank’s Kahawa Branch in Nairobi then release it to my aunt, Ms Esther Wanjiku Mwakua, to purchase the dental formula powder,” Mr Kinuthia recounted.
He said his mother withdrew the money and gave to Ms Mwakua who was in the company of Mary Wanjiru Kamau.
He said he delivered Sh2.2 million to Mr Masururu in the company of Ms Mwakua, Mary Wanjiru Kamau in Kitengela where they met Caro and her husband.
Mr Kinuthia said he delivered the money to the accused in two tranches.
He gave Sh2.2 million to Mr Masururi at Engen petrol station in Athi River, Machakos County. The accused had earlier received Sh1.1m from Ms Mwakua.
“At the petrol station, Masururu loaded the powder which later turned out not to be dental formula powder into the boot of our car,” Mr Kinuthia.
He said Ms Mwakua and Mary Wanjiru Kamau took the powder.
“I have never seen it again,” he told the court.
The witness, who was led in giving his evidence by State Prosecutor Christine Achieng, identified all the four accused persons in court as the ones who received the money.
Cross-examined by two defence lawyers, Mr Kinuthia said he did not count the money he handed over to Mr Masururu but he believed what his aunt who gave it to him said.