All is not pretty at the helm of National Bank as executive members of the bank are snitching one another in their dirty dealings at the bank.
Latest to be exposed is Reuben Koech, Director Corporate Banking and Joseph Kering, the Chair of Board Credit Committee.
The two are said to have engineered loss of billions from the bank, and as if that is not enough, following ‘loaded’ customers of the bank to arm twist them for kickbacks for them to secure loans.
In the latest case, which this desk could term as a heist, the two cost the bank a total of Ksh1.5 billion in bad loan through coast-based businessman Ben Muiruri Gitonga. The two further swindled Gitonga millions of money, in a bid to straighten things for him after things went south.
In the first incidence, Koech demanded a Ksh15 million kickback from Gitonga, but ended up receiving Ksh10 million in batches of Ksh5 million, Ksh3 million and Ksh2 million.
Gitonga is the owner of the General Mills East Africa Ltd, a maize & wheat trading company. He was seeking the Ksh1.3 billion loan towards the establishment of a milling plant in Mariakani, Kokotoni Area.
The mill would have had five huge Silos, five huge warehouses with capacity equal to that of Kenya Cereals and Produce Board fully installed with modern day milling machinery. However, as fate would have it, the loan was self-destructive for Gitonga.
He received the first batch of the loan, Ksh500 million less from the full amount. This is where trouble began. Being the chair of the credit committee, Kering withheld the remaining amount, with the intend of getting kickbacks.
While the disbursement finally happened after many months, it only occurred when Gitonga had already incurred millions of project delay costs including port demurrages.
The two went further to coerce the businessman to hand over the mill to a senior politician, but failed to persuade him.
This invited more trouble for the businessman, who was hoodwinked to sign another deal with the cruel executives that would see him lose more millions.
After cartons and cartons of frustrations, Gitonga was listed as a defaulter by Transunion and could not get a loan anywhere to salvage his project after intentionally being screwed up by the two officials. They knew very well that by messing up Mr Gitonga, he would completely at their mercy after being listed with CRB because he could not be able to get any loan anywhere to salvage his project.
They made him so desperate that any solution that was promising enough to get him out of the debt situation was welcome.
In this instance two came back with a ‘solution’ that would save Gitonga. However, the ‘solution’ would see Gitonga part with Ksh58 million to sooth the two officers. His name would then be cleared from the Credit Reference Bureau and his loan written off.
A saving solution for him, Gitonga dived into the deal without a second thought. He paid Ksh18 million as a down-payment to Koech, presented in cash.
The two did not share the harvest with the CEO Wilfred Musau, and only promised bumper harvest after the job was done. Later Musau learned about the down-payment and snitched on them to the chairman Mohamed Abdirahman Hassan.
It is thought that Musau reported the two after being left out of the deal in the down-payment.
By this time, the loan had already been written off.
Hassan reported the issue to Banking Fraud Investigation Department (BFID) for investigations.
This comes a year after the two were accused of swindling the bank Ksh1 billion in a systems upgrade heist including stage-managed hacking of bank systems.
In another case, which cost an employee of the bank his job, Koech is said to have swindled the bank over Ksh3.5 billion through another tycoon, Ali Punjani. Punjani was once accused by the US government of terrorism and drug trafficking.
Koech misled the company after bribing valuers to put the value of Rising Star Commodities Ltd, Punjani’s company, at Ksh3.5 billion while its real value was Ksh700 million.
The bank is facing a Ksh2.3 billion loss through the loan.
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