A farmer stunned a Milimani court when he wondered why he was being prosecuted over Sh402,000 he was asked to collect from his Co-operative Bank account through his mobile phone.
“I received a text message that I should access funds by dialling *667#,” Jared Atambo told Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo.
He said he was alarmed to be told he had stolen the money yet the messages were sent to his mobile phone.
“I thought I had won Lotto, Tatua Tatu or Shabiki.com [lotteries] when I received the money, because I had been participating in the betting,” Mr Atambo told the magistrate.
He said he had no reason to doubt himself because he had been betting when he received the text message to access the account.
Mr Atambo, who is charged with stealing, is alleged to have committed the offence between May 27 and July 2022.
Lives in the United States
Prosecutors say the account holder is one Henry Thuita, who lives in the United States.
Upon his return from the US in July, Mr Thuita alerted the bank that a fraudulent mobile money transaction had been carried out from his account.
Investigations revealed that his mobile phone number became inactive when he moved to the US.
Safaricom later sold the mobile number to Mr Atambo.
It is alleged that the accused accessed the bank account by dialling *667# through the number and withdrew money over a period of two months.
Magistrate Kagendo told the accused that his explanation amounted to a plea of not guilty. She granted him a bond of Sh500,000 or cash bail of Sh200,000.
The case will be mentioned in two weeks to fix hearing dates.