Second person within a week charged with refusing to return mistakenly sent Mpesa money

In what is now undoubtedly beginning to appear like a strong message to all those with the unacceptable and despicable behaviour of withdrawing money that has been sent to their phones by mistake, the courts have once again convicted someone for spending money erroneously sent to them. This is the second conviction in less than a week, sending a chill of fear down the spines of Kenyans engaged in such practices.

A tea farmer pleaded guilty to using Ksh36,000 from Victoria Commercial Bank Limited in Nairobi that he wrongly received through Mpesa.

Josphat Keire Abere requested Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi to allow him to pay the bank Ksh2000 monthly until he clears the amount in question.

According to the police report, the amount was part of Ksh127, 613 that Ecoline Energy Ltd requested Victoria Commercial Bank to deposit in the the Mpesa accounts of their employees.

“The bulk Mpesa totalling to Ksh127,613 was processed and accredited to various Mpesa accounts as listed in the email by their client,” police statement read.

However, on November 9, 2020 Ecoline wrote a letter to the bank complaining that one of its employees had not been paid.

On receiving the letter, the bank noted that it had paid Ksh36000 to a wrong M-pesa number.

When the bank requested for a reverse from Abere, Safaricom notified the lender that the money had already been used.
Abere also switched off his phone, but he was later traced and arrested.

Andayi said the amount Abere wanted to pay the bank per month was little and ordered a pre-sentencing report to be filed in court on August 27, 2021 before jailing the suspect.

Just a couple of days ago, Elizabeth Karimi Muthoni, was convicted at the Kibera Law Courts for failing to return money that was erroneously sent to her by another Mpesa user by the names, Bakar Hussein Mohammed.

The accused told the court that she had only withdrawn part of the money and was in talks with Mr Mohammed on repaying him.
After pleading guilty to theft charges, the court slapped her with a Sh200,000 fine.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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