Seven days in cell for Sh20m heist suspects

Court orders four bank employees locked up to allow police complete investigations

Mathew Ndung’u and Oliver Musembi

Four Family Bank employees in Ruiru will remain in police custody for seven days to allow detectives complete investigations into the theft of Sh20 million over the weekend.

Jane Wanjiku, Robert Nduriru, Silus Mugo and Charity Wanjiku, who appeared before Kiambu chief magistrate Stella Atambo, were not allowed to take plea.

The theft, which bears the hallmark of an inside job, comes barely months after another—again in Kiambu county— in which criminals dug a tunnel into the Commercial Bank in Thika and walked away with Sh50 million.

In the Ruiri theft, investigating officer Paul Wambugu told the court that the suspects are believed to have conspired in the theft of Sh20, 808, 343 from the bank which was broken into on the night of July 14 and 15.

He urged the court to detain the suspects to allow police complete investigations saying if released, they are either likely to abscond court or interfere with witnesses.

Wambugu told the court that they were following crucial leads that are likely to lead to arrest of more suspects. The chief magistrate granted police their application.

Ruiru police boss James Ng’etich said a report by the bank’s security manager, John Muchiri, indicates that he found the alarm tampered with and fire alarm vandalised.

 “After opening the bank, Muchiri discovered that the alarm system had been tampered with and on further checking, he discovered that the fire alarm system had been vandalised,” he said.

“They managed to access the strong room to the safe by cutting the door using welding gas cylinder power and further accessed branch ATM machine using claw bars and the welding gas power,” he added.

The burglars are believed to have made their way into the bank through the roof  before accessing the strong room.

A gas cylinder and four claw bars were recovered at the scene.

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