DPP Ordered to Extradite Kenyan Charged With Stealing Ksh 400M in Zambia

Police patrol the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in a 2018 operation
Police patrol the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in a 2018 operation.

The Chief Magistrate's Court at Milimani on Monday upheld a request by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) to extradite a Kenyan to face charges in Zambia. 

According to a report by the ODPP, Wambua was accused of fraudulently transferring approximately Ksh 407 Million ($2,700,000) from a suspense account of the Intermarket Bank, a commercial bank in Zambia, to a number of unnamed individuals.

The recipients, who are customers at the bank, each received unspecified sums of money from the suspense account allegedly belonging to Wambua, who is said to have made the transfers between October 1, 2010 and May 30, 2011.

Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina found that the DPP's application was viable and that it met the required threshold for the extradition. The ODPP filed the request after Zambia demanded Wambua be extradited to face charges

Officers on duty at a police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2020

"The DPP had issued an authority to proceed in accordance with section 7(1) of the Extradition Act, Cap 77 of the Laws of Kenya upon being satisfied that the request for extradition met the legal standards," read a report by the ODPP.

According to the ODPP’s report, the recipients of the money allegedly withdrew all the money transferred to their bank accounts without filing a report of the same to the bank.

The suspects went ahead to withdraw all the money from the said accounts and went on to share the money with Wambua, who had made the initial deposits to their accounts.

Financial experts describe suspense account fraud as a scheme where an embezzler makes fictitious transfers to a suspense account in an effort to defraud a financial institution. 

A suspense account is a general ledger account in which entries and discrepancies are temporarily recorded pending the transfer of money. A fraudster can access suspense accounts that offer various services, including loans, interdepartmental transfers, money transfers and refunds. 

Extradition Act, Cap 77 states that a fugitive criminal shall be afforded the opportunity to seek independent legal advice and an interpreter. 

It further allows Kenya to extradite a citizen accused of committing a crime in the country seeking to press charges. 

A photo of Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi
A photo of Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi
The Judiciary
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