Mother detained for presenting ‘forged’ title to secure daughter’s freedom

Esther Muthoni Muiruri Sh34 million fraud

Esther Muthoni Muiruri who has been charged with defrauding Duncan Mbici Sh34 million pretending she had won a tender to supply meat to Kuwait and Qatar embassies. Her mother has been detained for presenting a suspected forged title deed in a bid to bail her out.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

The mother of a businesswoman charged over fake Sh34 million embassy meat supply tenders has been detained for presenting a suspected forged title deed in a bid to bail out her daughter.

Dorcus Njeru Mugo, an administration secretary in the Interior ministry, will remain in police custody for seven days while land fraud detectives go to Ruiru in Kiambu and Embu to verify the authenticity of a title she wanted to deposit as security for Esther Muthoni Muiruri’s release.

Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Monday directed the DCI to establish whether the title Ms Mugo presented was genuine.

“This title is suspect since photographs of houses [Ms Mugo] claims to have been developed resemble others presented before me by another surety to bail out a suspect,” stated Mr Ochoi.

Discrepancies in documents

The magistrate took the cue from state prosecutor James Gachoka, who brought to the court’s attention discrepancies in the title documents.

The dramatic turn of events came as Ms Mugo was about to be questioned in her request to stand surety for Ms Muiruri, who was charged with defrauding a businessman of Sh34 million pretending that she had tenders to supply meat to the Kuwait and Qatar embassies in Nairobi

Ms Muiruri was charged on July 12 and is detained at the Lang’ata women’s prison.

The magistrate directed Ms Mugo, a senior administration secretary with the Interior ministry, to be escorted to the DCI for questioning. He also asked the agency to verify the title deed’s authenticity. Ms Mugo told the court Ms Muiruri is her firstborn daughter.

Ms Mugo had presented to the court a title deed for a property in Ruiru, which she claimed had been used in another criminal case to bail out a suspect.

Photos of rental houses

She claimed she had developed the quarter-acre plot. She produced photographers of rental houses that the court noted were similar to those used in another criminal case pending in the same court.

She told the court under oath that her property was worth Sh12.3 million, more than the Sh10 million bond that her daughter was granted.

But prosecutor Gachoka raised doubts about the title deed.

"These are two valuation reports relating to different parcels of land but with photographs of the same houses. I believe there is an attempt to hoodwink the court to approve a surety with questionable documents," Mr Gachoka said.

He asked the court to have Ms Mugo escorted to DCI offices in Nairobi so that the authenticity of the documents could be examined.

"The court has been shown two valuation reports. The photographs in the said reports are for the same houses yet they are said to be for two different land parcels, which I note are in different counties, Kiambu and Embu,” Mr Ochoi said, rejecting her request to stand surety in the matter.

Sh34 million fraud

Ms Muiruri was charged on July 12 with defrauding Duncan Maranga Mbici of Sh34 million. She alleged that her company, Bellas Casa Agencies, had won a tender to supply meat to the Qatar and Kuwait embassies.

She denied 30 counts of obtaining money by pretence and forging purchase orders. She was remanded at the Lang'ata women’s prison pending her release on a Sh10 million bond or cash bail of Sh5 million.

She allegedly obtained money ranging between Sh250,000 and Sh6.5 million between June and July 2021.

She is also accused of forging purchase orders for Sh29.4 million on July 14.

The case will be mentioned on Friday for directions.


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