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How police arrested varsity students in Nairobi over Sh30m Equity bank theft

Three university students and a Form Four leaver were Monday arrested by police in connection with the Sh30.9 million theft at Equity Bank branch in Othaya earlier this month.

Mr Phineas Mutwiri, 26, Mr Dennis Kimathi, 25, Mr Justine Mutua, 23, all students at Technical University of Kenya, together with 21 year old Gregory Gichuru were arrested in Nairobi on Monday morning as suspects in the robbery case.

Mr Gregory Gichuru finished his secondary education in 2014.

The four are reported to have been working for a company which had been licensed to register SIM cards by a telecommunications firm.

The firm is reported to have been registering the SIM cards fraudulently and later used in money laundering schemes.

Police sources said that the telephone number used to call the bank’s officials claiming that an audit in the bank had been scheduled prior to the robbery was traced back to the company.

This prompted the police to conduct a search operation that began at 9 a.m on Sunday which culminated in the arrest of the four suspects at 4 a.m on Monday.

Thousands of SIM cards, mobile phones and computers were recovered from the suspects in the sting operation.

They were presented before senior resident magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi at the Othaya courts, with police seeking more time to conduct the investigations.

They will be taken to court on Friday, 23rd October.

A fifth suspect, whose name has been withheld by police, surrendered himself to Nairobi county CID offices after his counterparts were apprehended. He will be transferred to Othaya police station pending further investigations.

Three other Equity Bank employees have been charged over the theft.They include the bank’s operations manager Mr Michael Kagume Gatura, the branch accountant Mr Ishmael Mwangi Kamara and Mr Mophat Gathumbi Ngugi, who is the cash officer.

They appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi but did not take plea as the police sought more time to conclude their investigations.

According to an affidavit filed in court, police say no robbery took place and instead there was a conspiracy between the three robbers and staff from the bank.