How 2 Kikuyu ladies stole over Sh 15.6 million from their employer within a period of 18 months! They were planning to flee to Canada - Ogopa Wakikuyu (PHOTOs).

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - Detectives based in Kiambaa will on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 arraign at Kiambu Law Courts two female suspects who stole over Sh15.6 million from their employer within 18 months, in a classic case of conspiracy and modern-day computer fraud.

The two suspects; Judy Muringe Mugo, 41, and Catherine Waithera Ruiru, 26, are respectively the Marketing Officer and Receptionist for Goshens Real Estate based in Kiambu's Ruaka Township.

In the case reported at DCI Kiambaa offices on January 23, 2024, by the company Director Mr Andrew Kirumba, the 1st suspect (Judy Mugo) was accused of duping Goshens Real Estate tenants into disregarding the paybill and bank account provided on their lease agreement forms while remitting monthly rent, and instead insisted on them using the company office line which she manned.

Being the marketing officer who also acted as liaison with the tenants and was charged with the responsibility of issuing receipts to tenants who remitted their bill payments, Judy declared the company paybill and bank account "no longer functional", before directing that payments be channeled to the OPPO phone and number that the company issued to her for marketing purposes.

After receiving the hundreds of thousands in rent, water bills, and other payable services through the office line, the 41-year-old would then transfer the money to her two personal phone numbers, thereafter transacting through mobile banking to her two accounts held at Family Bank.

To cover her trail and ensure that the management did not notice any irregularities, Judy would then conspire with the receptionist (Catherine Waithera), who manipulated numbers in the company's system to indicate that no tenants had any arrears. 

For doing this, the 26-year-old partner in crime would receive from Judy her unfair share of the stolen amount. This went on from June 2022 to January 2024.

Hitting the ground running, the detectives commenced investigations by recording statements of all the affected tenants, then sought orders from a Kiambu court to investigate the concerned banks and mobile money transactions.

When the mobile transaction and statements were obtained, it was confirmed that indeed the marketing officer would channel the rent received through the office line to her own personal numbers 0705736*** and 0741***559, then later channel the same to her

Family bank account numbers 042000007*** and 052000008***.

In the establishments, she had also transferred Sh3,442,200 to the receptionist through her (Catherine's) mobile number 0712***840 and also her KCB account number 1250143*** within the period in question.

The painstaking probe also established that Judy, whose monthly salary was Sh30,000, had on April 14, 2023, channeled Sh750,000 to AUTOCAD Motors bank account, which AUTOCAD confirmed to have been payment for a Toyota Harrier Reg. No. KBH 252S bought from their yard.

A search in the NTSA database confirmed that Judy was the legitimate owner of the car until January 25, 2024, a date when Kiambaa detectives summoned her to their offices. To defeat justice, Judy (who was released on bail pending the completion of investigations) thereafter transferred the vehicle to Andronicus Mbuthia Kamakia.

With these findings, the investigators sought a search warrant for the suspect's home where the Toyota Harrier was found parked. The filed miscellaneous application also sought orders to impound and detain the vehicle and treat it as proceeds of crime, thus preventing its sale or use as collateral in obtaining loans from any financial institution.

The orders executed on March 6, 2024, also saw both suspects' phones and the desktop used by the receptionist confiscated, and the same have since been submitted to the forensic cybercrime unit for detailed analysis.

Audit report in the well-orchestrated scheme reveal that the company lost a total of Sh15,633,147.00. Further, it is established that the receptionist (Catherine) manipulated figures in the system by inserting nonexistent Mpesa codes, before Judy produced and issued fake receipts to the tenants which she obtained from a cyber cafe at Ruaka.

With the police hot on their trail and hell-bent on fleeing the country, the two suspects recently obtained travel documents in record time, and detectives who analyzed their communication believe they were determined to flee to Canada where they have a contact.

For their crimes, several charges including stealing by servant, conspiracy to defraud, and computer fraud have been preferred.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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