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Politician charged with obtaining Sh345m by false pretence

NAIROBI
By Paul Ogemba | November 26th 2020

Francis Mureithi Wambugu at a Milimani court on Wednesday, November 25, where he was charged with fraud. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A businessman was yesterday charged with obtaining Sh345 million from two foreign investors through a fake tender with the Ministry of Defence.

Francis Mureithi, who contested the Embakasi East parliamentary seat in 2017 but lost to Babu Owino, faces seven counts of obtaining money by false pretence and acquiring properties using proceeds of crime.

Mureithi is accused of obtaining Sh320 million from Haile Menkerios by lying that his company, Doc Find Company Limited, had a contract with the Ministry of Defence to supply foodstuff.

According to the prosecution, the businessman also allegedly lied to Menkerios that he had a business service permit with Export Processing Zones Authority to erect a weighbridge in Athi River, with intent to defraud him.

Mureithi is also accused of acquiring a multi-million-shilling property along Ngong Road using proceeds of crime.

The charge stated that on June 30, 2016, the businessman acquired shares in Cisco Kenya Ltd and a property in Kerarapon Karen worth Sh75 million while knowing that the money was part of proceeds of crime.

Mureithi is said to have obtained another Sh25 million from Abeba Woldehaimanot Abbay by falsely pretending that he had a contract with the Department of Defence to supply sand bags to the defence forces.

The businessman denied the charges before Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku, with his lawyer Duncan Okatch arguing that the matter should not have been a criminal case given that there is a pending dispute at the High Court.

“It is a matter that arises from a commercial dispute which is before the High Court. The criminal case was instituted in clear abuse of the court process since there is a remedy should the High Court find that the contracts were illegal,” said Okatch.

The magistrate released Mureithi on a Sh5 million cash bail. The case will be heard on December 8.

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