Rogue Chrispin Ouma Owino charged with Sh9.2Million from Tropical Brands (Africa) limited

A manager with Tropical Brands (Africa) limited has been charged with stealing Sh9.2 million from the company.

Chrispin Ouma Owino appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Benard Ochoi and denied the charges.

Ouma is accused of stealing the money, an aoffence he allegedly committed between May 5, and October 23, last year at the company’s offices in Nairobi.

The court heard that he stole cheques worth Sh. 12,000 which came in his possession by virtue of his employment.
Owino is also charged with forging the company’s DTB cheque purporting it to be genuine and signed by Davies Mukuria and Maurice Oyiyo.

The prosecution opposed his release on bond arguing that he is likely to flee.

The court heard that after the accused was asked by his bosses about the money, he switched off his phone and ran off to Funyula in Busia County to evade arrest on November 5, 2023.

“Since then, the suspect has been on the run and it was only on 15th February 2024 that investigative agencies got wind that he was hiding in an undisclosed location in Funyula Sub-County,” said Chief Inspector Samuel Kirichu in his affidavit.

It is alleged that on 1st November 2023, the Managing Director and the Chair of the Board at tropical brands received an email from a concerned citizen informing them that the accused was embezzling funds from the company through an entity known as Ambikem Graphics enterprises.

Once they inquired from him about the company, he absconded duties from 3rd November 223 and they never heard from him again.

The court heard that the police carried out investigations into all accounts from Equity Bank, DTB Bank, CIC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank and realized that there were consistent debit cheques to Arikem Enterprises and Ambikem Graphics Enterprises.

“From the said inquiries the company established that the suspect had embezzled over Sh 50 million from the accounts domiciled at Equity and DTB Banks,” said CI Kirichu.

The investigating officer told the court preliminary investigations further established that the above companies are associated with the accused and it was further established that the two companies did not have any business or dealings with tropical brands.

According to the investigator, the accused was arrested on 20th February in Uhemba area, an area bordering the exit point to Uganda.

Police further told the court that the accused had intentions to move out the jurisdiction.

The court also heard that there is another ongoing investigation with respect to Tropical Brand’s Equity Bank and Standard Chartered Bank accounts where preliminary investigations have established that the accused fraudulently received over Sh 50 million into his business accounts.

“The suspect, being aware of further investigations which will come up with more serious charges invites the risk and temptation to have the accused flee from the jurisdiction of this honourable court,” the investigator added.

The accused will remain custody until 26th February 2024 when the court will deliver the ruling on bail opposition.