DTB Bank Under The Spotlight After Bahrain National Attempted To Deposit Sh100m In A Pakistani-Linked Charity Account

CAPTION: Nasim Devji

Detectives are striving to work out the odd puzzle of a Bahrain national who travelled from Egypt on a strange mission to deliver over Sh100 million to a Pakistani-linked Community Charity Organization based in the coastal city of Mombasa.

According to circulating media reports, after jetting into the country earlier this year, the 55-year-old identified as Jameel Said Ahmaad roamed in Nairobi for a few days before taking to the skies once again.

This time around, he booked a flight from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, which was the epicentre of his mischievous scheme.

He then wandered his way to Nyali Sub-county, where the dubious community organisation runs its operations.

It was from here that Mr Ahmaad executed his plan of opening multiple accounts with various Islamic banks dominant in the region.

He first targeted the Dubai Islamic Bank, but he failed.

Next was the Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Kenya Limited, linked to the Ismail Community religious group whose head is His Highness, the Aga Khan.

Mr Ahmaad had carried with him USD 1 million, which he sought to deposit into the charity’s account at the Nyali branch.

Unlucky for him, someone immediately flagged the suspicious transaction.

After all his attempts hit the wall, it left Mr Ahmaad with no option but to fly back to Nairobi before stirring any further attention in the quiet town.

At the JKIA customs office, while finalizing arrangements to travel back to Bahrain via Cairo, detectives and customs officials pounced on him, seizing all his personal items and luggage.

Surprisingly, at the time of his arrest, the police only recovered $800k cash, which was $200k less than the amount he failed to deposit in Nyali.

Whatever happened to the rest remains a mystery.

Did he give it out as a bribe?

Suspicions are rife that he might have shared the illicit proceeds with insiders both at DTB bank and at the charity organisation.

CAPTION: Alkarim Jiwa

Agents drawn from various state departments also seek to establish how Mr Ahmaad, a first-time visitor to Kenya, flew for hundreds of kilometres into a foreign land for such a risky mission.

They suspect that his Kenyan network was behind the opening of bank accounts but meticulously played their moves behind the scenes.

Could his conduit have enabled him to fly to Mombasa, where the organised deposit was to take place?

They have also raised queries over the owners and directors of the said charity organisation, their line of work and their relationship with Ahmaad, since he knew the exact account number to deposit at the DTB bank.

CAPTION: Shahzad Karim

Documents the bank used to open the account are also under investigation to establish if they are genuine or not.

It is yet to be established whether the organisation in question is legally registered in Kenya.

Pakistan is well known for the organised crimes of fraud, racketeering, drug trafficking, smuggling, money laundering, extortion, ransom and political violence.

This latest development certainly puts DTB bank in an unfavourable light, given that at one time, a DTB manager at the now-closed Nairobi Eastleigh branch was charged in court for failing to flag out suspicious transactions that led to a terrorist attack at Dusit in Riverside, Nairobi.

CAPTION: Naftal Mwangi

The bank was previously implicated in failing to comply with banking regulations after reports that customers withdrew large amounts of money, running into millions of shillings, which were never reported to the financial reporting centre as per set guidelines.

The state claimed that DTB had turned down their request to provide CCTV footage of withdrawals.

In their defence, senior native officials at the bank have constantly blamed their foreign counterparts who are in charge of strategic departments as key players in determining bank operations, including loans, deposits and opening of accounts.

The bank’s CEO is Nasim Devji. Alkarim Jiwa is the Finance Director.

Jamie Loden is Chief Operating Officer.

Shahzad Karim is Head of Corporate Banking.

Gopa Kumar is Head of Banking.

Venkatramani Lyer is head of Treasury.

Nizar Tundai is the Head of Technology.

Suraj Shah, the head of Centralised Customs.

Farouk Khymji, Head of Products and Marketing and Azra Thobani, Head of Service Excellence.

CAPTION: Hilda Gituro

Africans or Kenyans occupy lower-ranked positions like that of Human Resource, which Lilian Ngala holds.

Head of Credit is Constance Macharia, Head of Risk – Duncan Okun, Head of Compliance – Hilda Gituro, Head of Internal Audit – Peter Kimani, and Head of Security and Forensic Investigations – Naftali Mwangi.

George Otiende is Head of Branches and Alternate Channels with Kennedy Nyakomita, Head of Asset Finance and the Western Kenya region.

Stephen Kodume is the Company Secretary and Head of Legal and debt recovery.

As observed above, Kenyans hold positions in which they have to engage a foreigner strategically positioned ahead of him or her before making any major decisions.

Reports implicate Lyer, Head of Treasury, Tundai, Head of Technology, Surja Shah head of centralised Operations and Gopa Kumar Head of Retail banking as the people who influence decisions and operations at the banking institution.

Surja is the de facto CEO as his department oversees all operations.

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