Police detain suspects in Barclays fake notes scam

Thursday March 21 2019

Barclays fake notes

Far left: Suspects linked to fake notes seized at Barclays Bank of Kenya are arraigned in Nairobi on March 21, 2019. They are still in custody. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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Suspects in the Sh2 billion fake currency scandal at Barclays Bank of Kenya will stay in police cells for five more days.

Delivering her ruling on Thursday, Senior Resident Magistrate Zainabu Abdul said: "The case is of great public interest. Therefore, police should be given more time to finalise investigations."

The case will be mentioned on March 26. The money was hidden in a safe deposit box owned by Mr Erick Adede. His co-accused are Mr Ahmed Shah, Ms Irene Wairimu Kimani and Ms Elizabeth Muthoni.

POLL LOSSES

The court heard that the officers needed to confirm whether the 20.9 million US dollars confiscated on Tuesday were real or fake. The Central Bank will be involved in the probe.

On Wednesday, Barclays said another safe box registered under Mr Adede's name was identified and handed over to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

"We immediately reported it and subsequently handed over the box to the DCI. This is in keeping with our zero-tolerance approach to all forms of criminal activity and our commitment to assist with the investigation," it said.

Mr Adede is not new to the public eye. In 2014 he lost the Gor Mahia chairmanship to Mr Ambrose Rachier.

He later met the same fate in the Homa Bay Town parliamentary election in 2017. The victor was Mr Peter Kaluma.

DUBIOUS INVESTOR

The DCI describes Mr Shah as a dubious investor whom Mr Adede was using to hoodwink businesspeople into parting with their money.

With respect to safe boxes, the bank said contents of personal safe deposit boxes are not part of the bank’s deposits and are only known to the client. But they should not be items proscribed by law.

"According to the police, the individual in question had concealed the counterfeit banknotes in his personal safe deposit box. This is also against the bank’s rules and regulations," the bank said.