4 Senior KEBS Officials Arrested Over Ksh26 Million Theft

  • Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road
    Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road
    Simon Kiragu
  • Four senior managers at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) were arrested over the theft of Ksh26 Million from the agency.

    The first to be arrested was a finance reconciliation manager who was aprrehended in Nairobi on Friday, September 18.

    Police from the Serious Crimes Unit later arrested the other officials from their residences in Nakuru, Juja and Mpeketoni on Saturday, September 19.

    The officials were taken to Mombasa to face the charges of fraudulently withdrawing Ksh26 million from the agency’s accounts without authority.

    An image of KEBS offices
    A file image of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) offices in Kisumu.

    One suspect is still being searched for by the police.

    Their arrest comes after the institution's managing director Bernard Njiraini was apprehended in July 2020 where he was accused of frustrating the work of investigative agencies looking into payment of bribes for pre-export conformity for goods including mobile devices, as well as involvement in suspicious procurement deals.

    He allegedly failed to provide 15 sets of crucial documents to aid investigations into the procurement irregularities.

    A month prior, four officers were arrested in connection to a Ksh12 million fraud which occurred while they were while working at KEBS, Kisumu office between 2017 and 2018.

    Njiraini's predecessor, Charles Ongwae was in January 2019 charged with abuse of office and conspiracy to deny the government tax revenue.

    Ongwae was charged alongside 14 others, with 31 counts over an alleged tax evasion scheme that led to the loss of Ksh64 million in government revenue.

    Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) MD Bernard Njiraini at a past event
    Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) MD Bernard Njiraini at a past event
    Daily Nation

    Upon taking the reigns, he vowed to clean up the state corporation rocked by corruption scandals in the past.

    "In order to succeed as MD, you must resist all forms of manipulation and be guided by national interest and nothing else. I will hold the independence of actions guided by objectivity and in line with the Kebs mandate," he stated at the time.