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Bank manager charged with aiding Dusit attack

A bank manager was yesterday charged before a Nairobi court with aiding last month’s terror attack at the 14 Riverside Drive in Nairobi where 21 people were killed.

Sophia Njoki Mbogo, a manager at Diamond Trust Bank Eastleigh branch appeared before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi and denied three counts of failure to report suspicious activity regarding Sh34.7 million believed to be proceeds of crime, aiding and abetting the commission of a terrorist act and failure to report cash transactions against the law.

The prosecution alleges that on diverse dates between December 4, last year and January 5, this year at DTB Eastleigh branch in Nairobi county, the accused jointly with others not before court, failed to report suspicious activity involving transactions carried out at the branch which is Sh34,736,550. The money is suspected to be related to money laundering or the proceeds of crime.

In the second count, Njoki was charged that on similar dates and place, aided and abetted the commission of a terrorism act which is “The DusitD2 Attack” on  January 15 by failing to report suspicious activity involving transactions carried out at the said bank and the branch which is Sh34,736,550 suspected to have funded that attack.

On the third count, she was charged that she knowingly failed to report cash transactions carried out at the bank and branch Sh34,736,550 which amounts to $10,000 on December 4, 2018 and January 5.

The prosecution through State Counsel Eddie Kadebbe opposed the accused bail application on grounds that she is facing serious charges which attract heavy punishment if found guilty and she is likely to abscond from the jurisdiction of the court.

It claimed that investigations into the matter are still ongoing which may lead to arrest of more accomplices, who are still at large and more charges may be preferred against her, therefore releasing her on bail may interfere with the ongoing investigations.

“The accused person is the bank manager at the said DTB Eastleigh branch where she exercises control over her staff some being subject of inquiry and therefore, she is likely to interfere with witnesses and exhibits.”

Prosecution said the money was transferred from South Africa and  investigators are yet to trace part of the money believed to have been sent to Somalia through illegal money transfer agents commonly known as Hawalla. Investigators are looking at large amounts that were transferred from South Africa to Kenya on diverse dates through Mama Money and Send Home amounting to more than Sh34 million which is believed to have financed the “Dusit attack”.

Sophia was arrested at DTB Eastleigh branch in connection with money laundering and terrorism financing that facilitated the ‘Dusit Attack’ which occurred on  January 15, in Nairobi.

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