By Cyprian Nyakundi
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), itself embroiled in a credibility scandal of its making, is no show as one of Kenya’s grand racketeers walk scot free. Questions are being raised why EACC, and DPP, have not arraigned the bank architect of NYS money laundering to court.
This is so because he compromised every credible accountability institution; except this blog-CyprianNyakundi.com.
No money laundering racket in Kenya operates without some Bank CEO betraying both public and consumer trust to use their vaults to sanitise the dirty money which almost certainly are proceeds of public plunder like in the case of ‘NYS scam’ or terrorism, like is said of the riches of a prominent Nairobi lawyer of cushitic extraction.
For the first time we unmask the real face of multi-billion shilling money laundering scam in Kenya: Peter Munyiri, (former) MD of Family Bank.
Caution: Peter Munyiri owns a gun.
When the skinny man with a weird face and fake smile left his dusty village in Mathira and met Ben Gethi, the boy of high level government tenderpreneuring; also from a dusty village in Karatina; the two may have quickly saw in themselves the perfect embodiment of everything that could have gone wrong with Kenya’s ponzi scheme that is the financial sector. With time, they would make a mockery of it, and reap the country off in a scam whose scale no forensic analysis has unearthed yet.
“Peter Munyiri is a greedy small man with an unbridled ambition for illicit wealth and raw, irresponsible power that accompany it,” a Family Bank insider introduced him to us.
We learn from this insider that the source of Peter’s ambition to launder money started with a rejection by the old boys of Kenyan money; the men who raped the country when it was still in puberty. The scions of the economy butchers of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
They rejected him at Karen Golf Club but after he laundered NYS, in billions, a few accepted him at Muthaiga. He still reels from Karen rejection.
“Without money, getting noticed, let alone respected as an equal, was a tall order at Karen Golf,” we are informed.
Like Anais Nin, the dream (of recognition) was always running ahead of him, to catch up; to live for a moment, in unison with it, that required him to pull a scandal in such a grand scale that even if the Karen golfers were still not going to let him in; they would at least discuss him in low tones.
His first break came when he met Ben Gethi. He had earlier allegedly attempted to launder money at Kenya Commercial Bank under the strict and moral Banker Martin Otieno but this did not materialize. He was fired.
Using ethnic connections, he was placed at Family Bank; a bank which seemed to have been formed with the main aim of plundering public coffers.
Now heading a bank; Family Bank; he and Gethi would move with speed to rob Kenyans as Uhuru concentrated on Waiguru and ICC.
Gethi had connections in the most high places of the porous Uhuru regime.
Gethi would loot state coffers, in billions, assisted by the Josephine Kaburas of this world, and Peter Munyiri would be the man to clean the money of the blood of dying Kenyans for lack of medicine or food; and give the money some veneer of respectability in the guise of ‘real estate’ investments.
When DPP Keriako Tobiko ordered probe into the activities of Family Bank, it was as a result of a multi-billion shilling heist, planned and executed by a small clique of government functionaries whom John Githongo had in mind when he (together with Michela Wrong) authored ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat”.
Munyiri, as CEO, sat atop this pyramid scheme.
“As they worked on the NYS looting spree, Peter was promised the job of CEO of National Bank of Kenya. National Bank attracted him because of the weak systems. He also knew the big boys used National Bank to launder money. He didn’t care much about Family Bank sinking. However, the explosion of NYS scam left him exposed and his political friends scampered for a safe distance. Some started roasting him immediately,” observes our source.
In time, his only trusted friend remained Erastus Mureithi, former Ol Kalou MP.
Earlier, he had been safe in the hands of old thugs like Wilfred Kiboro; an avowed Kikuyu supremacist who also managed to turn Daily Nation from a respectable national newspaper to a Mt. Kenya spreadsheet where anti-Riala hogwash often find safe abode.
Kiboro lavished Munyiri with praise when in 2015 the proceeds of money laundering for Family Bank reached Ksh3 billion. Later in the same year; the Bank attracted authorities for money laundering.
Family Bank has tried, mostly by buying journalists and media houses, to keep under wraps ongoing investigations into several cases of money laundering and failure to comply with banking laws.
In the NYS scam, money would be wired into an account at the bank then redistributed to other banks. While the bank distanced itself from the scam, it later on sent home nine of its managers who were linked to the transactions.
Munyiri, however, conveniently exited the lender and nowadays moves from one high end hotel to the other, enjoying the ‘sweat’ of money laundering labour.