A Magistrate Court was on Monday, November 7, left stunned after a man accused of stealing over Sh400,000 from a bank said he thought he had won the lottery.
Jared Atembo, a farmer, told Milimani Chief Magistrate Mutemi that when he received the money from the bank, he thought it was from local betting companies.
Atembo allegedly stole the monies from a Cooperative bank account belonging to a Kenyan who was working in the United States.
He is said to have committed the offence between May 27 and July 2022 at an unknown place within the country.
The prosecution informed the court that the account holder Henry Thuita alerted the bank that there was a fraudulent mobile transaction in his bank account when he visited the country in July.
Investigations revealed that the funds had been withdrawn via a mobile phone number that Thuita had linked to his bank account in 2019.
After he relocated to the US, the number became inactive, before Safaricom reactivated it and sold it to another user who happened to be Atembo.
Investigators said the accused used the said number to access Thuita’s bank account using the bank’s USSD code *667# and withdrew the amount within a period of two months.
“The accused further claims that he thought he was transacting in his own account,” the charge sheet reads.
The prosecution added this is “a fact which was false as he had never operated any account with the bank.”
The suspect pleaded guilty and said he thought he had won one of three lotteries he had been participating in.
“Your honor I didn’t know I was handling somebody else’s money, I thought I had won one of the lotteries I have been actively engaged in,” Atambo said.
The accused was granted a cash bail of Sh200,000 or a bond of Sh400,000.
The case will proceed on November 21.