Cop in trouble for using logbook in police custody to obtain Sh300,000 loan

Detectives are probing an incident in Mombasa where a police officer allegedly used the logbook of a vehicle under his custody to acquire a Sh300,000 bank loan without the owner’s knowledge.

Documents tabled before the court through the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have exposed how Lilian Bujede’s vehicle was impounded by an auctioneer over a loan she was unaware of.

The documents tabled by Corporal David Munga show how rogue police officers could take advantage of their investigative powers to rob innocent Kenyans of their properties. You couldn’t make this up.

In 2020, while the vehicle in question, a white Toyota Belta, was operating as a taxi within Mombasa County, the owner took it to Mjambere Police Station after noticing that some parts of the vehicle had been stolen. The incident report she filed was for theft of motor vehicle parts.

Preliminary investigations show that the case was assigned to a police officer from the station to follow up.

Cpl Munga said upon finalising investigations, the officer refused to hand over the vehicle back to Ms Bujede.

Records show that Ms Bujede alleged that the officer later visited her house and convinced her child to hand over the vehicle’s logbook to him without her consent or even knowledge.

“The complainant raised the alarm to the Officer Commanding Mjambere Police Station. The vehicle was then handed over to the complainant but without the logbook since the investigating officer was away on leave at the time,” said Cpl. Munga in an affidavit filed before Senior Mombasa Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo.

The officer further said the woman’s subsequent follow-up to recover the logbook bore no fruit as the document could not be handed over to her.

In one of her visits to follow up on the logbook, Cpl. Munga said the officer informed the woman that he had used the document as a surety to secure a bank loan at a micro-finance bank.

Ms Bujede then visited the bank to confirm this information and she learnt that indeed the officer had applied for a loan of Sh300,000 and used her logbook as surety.

Her troubles did not end there.

In August 2020, while she had the vehicle in Vihiga in Western Kenya, she claims that staff from Mumu Auctioneers approached her with instructions to repossess the car.

“The complainant claims her vehicle was repossessed by Mumu Auctioneers due to a defaulted loan amounting to Sh377,170.15 granted to the police officer without her consent,” said Cpl. Munga.

This is how Ms Bujede lost her vehicle to auctioneers over a loan she knew nothing about.

To get to the bottom of this, Cpl. Munga asked the court to grant orders allowing him to obtain the necessary documentation from the bank to confirm Ms Bujede’s claim.

Cpl Munga told the court that he was treating the matter under the offence of conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 317 of the penal code.

He wants the court to allow him to launch a probe following repossession of the vehicle by Mumu Auctioneers under the instructions of the micro-finance bank.

Another document he wants to be supplied with includes account opening documents for the loan granted to the police office along with the surety, the bank’s Letter of Offer for the facility given the debtor and a copy of the Belta’s logbook presented as security before the loan was granted.

He also wants to be supplied with a guarantee form or any letter of consent written and signed by the guarantor of the issued loan, a valuation report of the vehicle presented as security of the loan applied for and a loan account statement in the name of the accused officer between May 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020.

Mr Munga also wants permission to record statements from staffers working in the credit section and debt recovery unit at the micro-finance bank and any other documents or information relevant to the debtor’s loan account, which will assist in concluding the investigation.

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