It was a nonstop ride for former Chase Bank chairman Mohammed Zafrullah Khan after he was charged on June 28 2017 in a Nairobi court with conspiring to defraud the bank of KSh1.7 billion and the prosecution could not relax its stance, seeking to block his release from custody pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Not even the application on medical grounds which see many a suspect(s) released on bail before, would deter a combined determined force that has been accused of being hellbent on “punishing” the tycoon long before he is heard.
The tycoon spent as second night at a police station cooler, Kileleshwa, as we published this post.
Other files under investigation
They now want him detained further on grounds that he is a subject of other files under investigation one of which involves Ksh 6.9 billion, Ksh3 billion and Ksh600 million respectively.
The case is keenly being monitored by detectives from the DCI.
“We have accomplices who are yet to be arrested…these are monies that involved depositors…” lead prosecutor Mungai Warui pulled out in an all day battle of legal minds pitting him against Zafrullah’s defence team led by lawyer Cecil Miller, a veteran of criminal law.
They could have stood out forever were it not for time that forced an adjournment at 5.00pm to allow the magistrate to retire and write her ruling.
Zafrullah has denied multiple charges of intent to defraud stating that between August 28 2009 and March 3 2016 at Chase bank headquarters in Nairobi jointly conspired with intent to defraud Chase Bank Limited by means of falsely pretending that the disbursement of ksh 1,683,000,000 effected from Internal Account of Chase bank limited to the accounts of Camelia Azure limited and Cleopatra Holdings, Golden Azure limited and Calmbrook holdings limited were genuine loan facilities to the entities and were disbursed in the ordinary course of Loan process flow.
The former Chase Bank boss also faced an alternative charge of failing to report suspicious transactions.
Other charges relate to stealing from Chase Bank and failing to comply with provisions of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
He denied all the charges.
Reaction to high court order
The chairman faces charges alongside Duncan Kabui Gichu, James Mwaura and others who are yet to surrender to BFID.
“The banking fraud has been involved in investigations of offences of stealing, money laundering…” the prosecutor said.
Miller maintained that the application was a further reaction to high court orders that had freed Zafrullah allowing the release of his passport for 30 days to travel to the US for urgent medical attention.
The prosecution said the conditions had now changed and Zafrullah had become a guest of the state who may not return to the country if granted bond.
“The denial of bail is a veiled attempt to punish the accused person, the application to deny bail is a further reaction to the high court order and an attempt to complicate the situation,” Miller submitted saying the suspect remained innocent till proven guilty.