According to Barclays Bank, this morning police were investigating the contents of a safe deposit box belonging to its client.
Later, DCI George Kinoti clarified that the amount was Sh2 billion, not the initial jaw-dropping Sh17 billion reported. A little bit of number crunching is in order.
When word went round about this development, soon there was talk of Sh17 billion in fake currency being bandied around with both charlatans and experts weighing in on the matter.
But, what is Sh17 billion like?
Economist Dr David Ndii has been giving brilliant explanation on Twitter.
He says, "Assuming its all 1k notes, this 17b equals 8% of all 1k notes in circulation (Sh.210b as per CBK data). Another haul in Ruiru haul was Sh32b in multiple currencies including Ksh. If only Sh. 3b in Ksh, we talking over 10%, one out of every ten 1k notes? What am I missing?"
The controversial economist further argues, "Something is not adding up with these huge fake currency hauls. If there was that much fake currency around, we would be encountering it more frequently in circulation. Could this be a cover for confiscating a certain politician’s cash hoard? Just wondering."
According to Ndii, a Google research shows machines count on average 1,000 notes a minute. This, he says, works out to 283 machine hours without reloading.
"Let's say 300 hours with reloading. 12 machines, for 24 hours non-stop...."
In a statement late in the evening, Barclays Bank said police have taken in the customer for further questioning. The customer is said to have concealed the fake currency in his personal safe deposit box against the bank's rules and regulations, which include restrictions of items which can be held in the safe deposit box.
"Barclays Bank said in the usual course of business offers safe deposit boxes. The contents of personal safe deposit boxes are not part of the bank's deposits and are only known to the client."
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