Standard Chartered Bank directors in a land Scam


28 Apr 2015 | by Kelly Simiyu
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Standard Chartered Bank directors in a land Scam

A widow of a city tycoon has appealed to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to investigate a group of Standard Chartered Bank directors whom she accuses of irregularities during the sale of her family’s one hundred and twenty five acres of land.

Florence Wairimu Mbugua, the wife of the late Joseph Kiarie Mbugua has sought the intervention of the CID’s Land Fraud Unit to investigate the circumstances under which Standard Chartered Bank transferred Land Reference Number 5820/2 Kiambu back to Farmers Industry Limited then to Mushroom Gardens Limited in transactions done within two days during which the price of the property doubled.

The complaint by Ms Mbugua was received at the CID headquarters Land Fraud Unit under reference REF: CID/C/GEN/COMP/6/11/2014/424 dated May 8th 2014 but no response has been received by the family yet.

“She alleges that they have a property (land) registered as Kiambu 5820/20 in the name of Farmers Industry Ltd. The same was charged to Standard Chartered Bank Kiambu branch by her late husband. The said property was sold to the bank in 1995 for Ksh 125 million. In 2009 March the Bank sold back the property for Ksh 291 million to Farmers Industry Ltd. On the following day it was sold to Mushroom Gardens Ltd for Ksh 636 million. A search was done at Lands office and it revealed that the property is still in the Bank’s name. They feel that they have been duped and no money have been transferred to their account. They are seeking police assistance,” the referral form from the Lands Fraud Unit.  

The case is being handled by head of Land Fraud Unit Nicholas Etyang to whom the complaint from Ms Mbugua was referred.

Letters by MS Mbugua to Standard Chartered Bank (K)Limited and the Standard Chartered Bank Headquarters on 1 Basinghall Avenue, London  and copied to the Kenya Bankers Association have gone unanswered one year after the tycoon’s widow lodged a complaint.

Her letter is referenced RE: Illegal Unprocedural Corrupt Transaction between yourself and Farmers Industry Limited.

 The widow says that she was compelled by Standard Chartered Bank (K) to sale the128.5 acres of land to Mushroom Gardens Limited a day after buying back the land from the Bank at Ksh 636,075,000.

Interestingly, the Ksh 636,607,500 was never deposited into either Farmers Industry Limited or her personal account as payment for the 128.5 acres of land that was sold to Mushroom Gardens Limited.

“On February 1995, on advice of the bank, we sold the above property to the bank for Ksh 125,000,000 to offset the loan arrears via coveyancing dated 10th February 1995 drawn by Oraro and Rachier Advocates. Upon demise of Joseph Kiarie Mbugua, my husband in the year 2007, again the bank advised us to withdraw all cases that were pending in Kenyan courts between the bank and Joseph Kiarie Mbugua and then the bank would sell the Land Reference 5820/2 Kiambu back to us on condition that we sell the same to Mushroom Gardens Limited. The bank purported to sell the land back to us at a price of Kshs 291,000,000 on 9th March 2009. Immediately on 10th March 2009, on the same advice, we sold the same to Mushroom Garden Limited for Kshs 636,075,000 via agreement dated on the same date,” Ms Mbugua’s complaint letter to Standard Chartered Bank reads in part.

Ms Mbugua says that interestingly, a search certificate from the Ministry of Lands dated March 2014, five years after the transaction happened, shows that the registered owner of the land is still Standard Chartered Bank and that there was no contact6 between the bank and Farmers Industry Limited.

Tom Indimuli, of Standard Chartered Bank (K) Limited’s communication office did not respond to questions forwarded by The Star to the bank on Ms Mbugua’s complaint.   

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