EXPOSED: Here are the 10 banks that transacted NYS loot
Ten commercial banks under investigation for processing clients’ transactions from the National Youth Service have maintained a studious silence — even as Central Bank and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) warned of consequences that could include loss of operating licences.
With a few exceptions such as Diamond Trust Bank, which said it fulfils its prudence obligations in respect of all transactions, many banks said they could not comment on a matter under the investigation by the DCI, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), National intelligence Service (NIS), Central Bank and the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The banks are Kenya Commercial Bank, CFC Stanbic Bank, Barclays Bank of Kenya, Standard Chartered, Equity Bank, Unaitas Sacco, National Bank, Consolidated Bank and Co-Operative Bank .
Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge said that the theft of NYS money — through fake payment vouchers — was aided by the banks “deliberately” – and asked: “Or how else could you make a mistake on things that you are aware of?”
BANKS NOT TO HIDE
And on Wednesday, the Director of Criminal Investigations, Mr George Kinoti, also warned the banks not to hide behind the ongoing investigations.
“They should come out clean on whether prudence guidelines were flouted,” he said. “But tell them, they have touched a wrong number. We and CBK are going for them.”
However, these warnings must be treated with caution. Banks are not required to investigate their customers, arrest them or confiscate their cash. They are supposed to comply with Know Your Customer rules — which, for example, might require the customer to explain where the money has come from and what its purpose is — and report anything suspicious to the Financial Reporting Centre.
The governor and DCI’s warning came as 24 people were charged in court on Tuesday with various counts of plundering public funds and as the hunt for more suspects continued.
The next phase, according to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, will lead to the recovery of money and more prosecutions.