Thursday September 12, 2019 – Millions of shillings stolen during a bank heist on the night of November 2nd, 2012, was traced to Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s bank account.
The Ksh13.5 million robbery at a local bank in Meru County, landed three of the bank’s employees in trouble while Linturi walked scot-free.
The stolen money, which was in denominations of Kenyan shillings, Canadian dollars and US dollars, saw Harriet Kanorio, Wilson Wanjohi and Ensume Muriungi tried, after a Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer looked at recorded statements.
The money was stolen from the ATM of the bank’s computer room, which was tightly secured and only the systems administrator had keys to.
It was reported that Linturi, who was the Igembe South MP at that time, secured the release of Muriungi, after selling a Ksh3.3 million parcel of land in Kithoka in Meru County.
The other two were ordered to pay a Ksh1 million fine each or be sentenced to 15 months in jail.
Detectives confronted Linturi with information that Muriungi had banked Ksh8.6 million into the Senator’s account.
However, Linturi denied the allegations.
“I vehemently deny the allegation as there is no one that had deposited any money in my account apart from myself, neither had he (Muriungi) given me any cash to deposit or keep for him,” Linturi’s statement to the DCI read.
He went on to state that he himself deposited the amount after selling another parcel of land in Machakos.
He asserted that he received the money from Gikunda & Company Advocates which represented the buyer, adding that he received Ksh18 million as a down payment and that he was still expecting a Ksh42 million balance.
The senator clarified his relationship with the accused, explaining that Muriungi campaigned for him during the 2007 Igembe South parliamentary polls.
On July 22, 2019, both Kanorio and Wanjohi, the other two suspects, finally walked free after spending seven months in prison, following a successful appeal on the basis that the magistrate who sentenced them overlooked DCI’s report that the money was traced to Linturi’s account.