Hospital owner charged with PPE fraud

Monday, November 23rd, 2020 08:00 |
Benson Mugendi Mbaka, a director of Lifeline Group of Hospitals, formerly Kahawa Wendani Hospital. Photo/Courtesy

A hospital proprietor was on Friday charged with obtaining 3,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment  (PPEs) kits worth over Sh14.25 million from a businessman by false pretences.

Benson Mugendi Mbaka, a director of Lifeline Group of Hospitals, formerly Kahawa Wendani Hospital in Nairobi was arrested on Thursday after investigations linked him to several incidents of fraud involving medical fake tenders worth over Sh200 million. 

The accused person who was unrepresented on Friday denied the fraud charge before Chief Magistrate Joyce Gandani.

Mbaka asked the court to release him saying he is sick and needed to be treated while he is out.

Gandani ordered him to be released on bond of Sh5 million with a surety of similar amount or a cash bail of Sh2 million pending the mention of the case on December 2.

The prosecution alleges that on October 16 at Industrial Area within Nairobi, Mbaka jointly with others not before court with intent to defraud obtained from Joseph Maina Mwangi of 3,000 pieces of PPEs worth Sh14.25 million by falsely pretending that he was able to purchase the same kits, a fact he knew to be false.

Foreign bank 

It is said that immediately Mbaka was arrested, Detectives from the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said that several people said to have lost money are yet to record statements, adding that they were also investigating a foreign bank suspected to be linked to the alleged fraud.

It is also said that in most cases, the suspect allegedly obtained money from the victims before they were awarded non-existent tenders and issued with fake Local Purchase Orders (LPOs).

Mbaka would allegedly direct the unsuspecting businessmen to supply samples of their goods before the tender is finally awarded.

The victims would then be advised to pay and leave the goods to be collected by the alleged recipient institutions.

Detectives said the victims would later be advised to open an account with an international bank and deposit at least Sh500,000 for them to receive payments.

According to the investigators, the amount involved in the alleged fraud could be higher than Sh200 million. 

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