Suspects in Fina Bank’s Sh 96M fraud sentenced

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Four people who were charged alongside politician Don Bosco Gichana with Sh 96 million fraud involving Fina Bank, (now Guaranty Trust bank) have been convicted after the conclusion of a 10 year trial.

Gichana’s sister Gladys Moraa, Graham Sagwe, former Fina Bank Manager, Robert Moseti and Obadia Nyambane were handed an 18 months sentence by Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi after they managed to repay over Sh 80 million to the lender.

The magistrate, however, suspended the sentence for one year to allow the accused persons to settle the remaining balance of Sh 15 million after which they will have fully secured their freedom in an out of court settlement.

The court heard that Gichana, who is alleged to have been the mastermind of the fraud, did not attend the trial because he was serving a five-year jail term in Tanzania for the offence of money laundering.

At the end of the sentencing, the magistrate ordered that the cash bail for the four accused persons, which totals Sh 4.5 million, to be used as part of the payment of the Sh 15 million to GT bank.

“If you will have not paid the Sh 10.5 million by 10th January 2023, just take yourselves to the prison to serve the 18 months sentence,” the magistrate ruled.

The magistrate handed down the non-custodial sentence after the convicts mitigated and informed the court that they were remorseful, attended the court religiously and have since reformed in the eleven years they have gone through the trial.

During the trial, the court heard that the Sh 96 million was diverted from paying a Chinese Contractor-Garden Real Estate Development Limited to a Kenyan firm-Malch Construction Ltd associated with Don Bosco Gichana through Eco Bank, yet it had not handled any construction works.

The magistrate noted that in 2010, the convicts had been directed by Justice Mohamed Warsame to return the money which had been distributed among five people after it was re-routed from Fina Bank to an account owned by Malch Construction Limited at EcoBank.

After lawyers Albert Kuloba and Ian Maina returned the money received by their law firms, charges filed against them were dropped and were cleared of any wrong-doing by Justice Warsame.

“It is in that spirit that over Sh 80 million was returned to the bank,” the magistrate noted.

C.M Andayi questioned why the police are yet to arrest Don Bosco Gichana who was freed from the Tanzania prison and back in Kenya.

“The master-mind of the fraud Don Bosco Gichana is still roaming around freely because the police have failed to arrest him since 2009 when this case was first filed in court. One wonders whether this is as a result of conspiracy to defeat justice,” said the magistrate.

Andayi noted that there is overwhelming evidence against Gichana which was availed by his co-accused persons who informed the court that he masterminded the fraud together with Sagwe.