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Embu trader loses Sh1m to tenant

By Joseph Muchiri | February 15th 2016
Businessman Samuel Muriuki peruses court proceedings of the case in which a woman used deception to defraud him Sh1million in Runyenjes town on February 12, 2016. BY JOSEPH MUCHIRI/STANDARD

A woman has been found guilty of defrauding a businessman Sh1 million.

Appearing before Embu Principal Magistrate Robinson Oigara, Faith Kadogo Cingau was found guilty of using Samuel Muriuki’s title deed to get a Sh1 million loan that she never serviced.

Ms Cingau, who hails from Tharaka-Nithi, was charged with cheating contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code. She was charged that on May 12, 2010 at Embu town by means of fraudulent tricks, she induced Muriuki to deliver a title deed for his plot no Kagaari/Kigaa/3498 as collateral for a Cooperative Bank loan, which was granted.

Cingau had rented Muriuki’s house from January 2010 to December 2010 and was to pay a monthly rent of Sh8,000 but opted to pay Sh96,000 for the whole year at once.

Cingau stocked hardware in the house and after three months, she asked Mr Muriuki to sell her half acre land with a residential house at Sh3 million.  She then requested Muriuki for his title deed to get a loan of Sh2 million from Cooperative Bank Embu branch, saying she would pay him Sh1.5 million and offset the balance later.

The two then drew an agreement before Njeru Ithiga and co-advocates on May 13, 2010.

Auction Land

Muriuki told the court when the bank advanced Cingau’s Sh1 million, she immediately withdrew all of it, moved the stock from her shop at night on July 2010, then she disappeared.

“When her loan was due and her account was overdrawn, the bank wrote to me as the guarantor and I committed to pay the loan and interest totalling Sh1,114,797 to avoid having my land auctioned,” he told the court.

Muriuki later cleared the loan and was given back his title deed. He then started looking for Cingau with the assistance of criminal investigations officers. They traced Cingau in Mugoma, Tharaka using her mobile phone on November 7, 2010. Investigations were conducted and she was charged.

On June 3, 2013, Oigara said he was satisfied Cingau had a case to answer.

However, she did not appear for judgement and a warrant of arrest was issued against her. Cingau was arrested on December 2, 2015 and Oigara found her guilty on February 8, 2016. However, Cingau denied the charges, saying Muriuki closed her business for two months and upon opening, she found that animal feeds and cement had gone bad.

She said Muriuki had closed her premises as she could only give him Sh500,000 from the loan because the bank had advanced less than she had applied for.

Cingau denied that she proposed to secure the loan with the assistance of the complainant, then disappeared.

“I am satisfied the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the accused. She has a case to answer,” said Oigara.

But Cingau sought leniency, saying she was remorseful, had a child to take care of and required medical attention. When the case is mentioned on February 23, the accused is expected to show how she plans to repay Muriuki.

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