Former Banker Reveals How Pattni Defrauded the CBK

  • Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    (COURTESY)
  • A former banker, Michael Wanjihia Onesmus, revealed how Kamlesh Pattni defrauded the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) of Ksh 19.3 billion through a fake receipts scheme.

    The former CBK bureaucrat, Onesmus, in his latest court filings alleged that Pattni coerced the bank into signing fake receipts in a ploy that saw billions lost in a brazen money heist scheme.

    According to Onesmus, the scheme was hatched after the government implemented laws giving incentives to companies that brought in foreign exchange to Kenya.

    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) building in Nairobi.
    A file image of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) building in Nairobi.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    In his submission, Pattni used that leeway to obtain Ksh19.3 billion from CBK in what later became the Goldenberg scandal.

    Onesmus told the court that Pattni obtained the payments in two batches of Ksh13.5 billion and Ksh5.8 billion.

    The former CBK banker claimed that Pattni executed his scheme by providing the Treasury with forged receipts. He stated Pattni presented receipts for gold and diamond exports.

    Dragging CBK into the scandal, Onesmus told the court that CBK used the money made by the four lenders in the Ksh13.5 billion batch of payments to clear the pending overdrafts — a move that cleaned up the banking industry regulator’s own books of accounts.

    “It appears that these banks were unable to clear these overdrafts and therefore this scheme was used, which means that no dollars were expected to come. These transactions were performed in the accounts of the CBK and it cannot claim lack of knowledge or involvement.”

    Onesmus further told the court that he was used as a scapegoat in the entire scandal which saw him step down from his position at the CBK.

    Onesmus spent two years in remand as the trial proceeded, and his home was raided. In his court papers, the former banker also decried being physically and verbally abused in the Kamiti maximum prison during that time.

    His appeals seek to compel the state to compensate him for allegedly violating his basic rights and freedoms and being forced to resign.

    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    (COURTESY)
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