Kenya : Stolen Sh51m Kilifi county cash sent to five city firms

The Kilifi county government lost over Sh51 million from its bank accounts after an electronic money transfer system was manipulated.

Crooks are said to have stolen passwords belonging to 10 officials, used them to access the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) and siphoned money from the county government’s account at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

Preliminary investigations show the money was transferred into the bank accounts of several suspect companies in Nairobi between September 29 and October 3.

However, county officials have denied the possibility of more losses even as the scandal continues to generate heat, with locals demanding answers.

Officials have disclosed that CBK took a week to reverse the impending transfer of Sh8 million, part of the loot, to a suspect firm as the regulator required a court order to do so.

Yesterday, Governor Amason Kingi said companies that received the money had never been pre-qualified to do business with the government.

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“It is so absurd that private companies could collude with some people to steal taxpayers’ money in a county faced with drought, hunger and unemployment. We urge the Ifmis department and other agencies to speed up investigations and punish the culprits,” said the governor.

He also warned that unless measures were taken, the accounts of several county governments at CBK would be wiped clean through the manipulation of Ifmis.

Reports of the suspicious dealings first emerged on October 10, when an accountant alerted the county administration of an alleged theft of Sh30 million from the CBK account.

This sparked off panic, forcing Kingi to convene a meeting where it was resolved that CBK should be informed about the theft. CBK is said to have acknowledged that some money had been moved electronically from the county’s account.

After a meeting between Kingi and CBK officials on October 17, further investigations established that indeed, Sh51,209,775 had been transferred without approval by the county government.

Consequently, the 10 county government officials whose passwords were used to steal the money have been suspended pending investigations into claims they were involved in fraud. Those sent home include the whistleblower, whose password was among those reportedly stolen and used in the theft.

via Kenya : Stolen Sh51m Kilifi county cash sent to five city firms – The Standard

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