Kenya could be forced to seek the support of the International Police (Interpol) to arrest some of the eight bank managers on the run after an arrest warrant was issued on them.
All the eight managers accused of unethical deals at National Bank of Kenya and Chase Bank failed to report to the Criminal Investigations Department by the 3.30pm yesterday as ordered by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.
As at last night, none of the managers had been arrested. There are now fears that some of them may have left the country secretly. Two top managers, one each from the the two banks, are said to have friends and family members in the UK and Dubai.
Among the wanted men are the suspended NBK boss Munir Mohamed and five other managers, former Chase Bank Chairman Zafrullah Khan, and managing director Duncan Kabui.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro told the media this morning that a manhunt for the eight had started, with fears that they could have fled to avoid arrest. “We are now looking for them after they defied the order to surrender themselves,” Mr Muhoro said.
Police last evening began the hunt for the eight banking executives. Inspector General Joseph Boinett issued arrest warrants on a busy day for top government officials who went on overdrive to dispel fears of a banking crisis after Chase Bank sank on Thursday, sending shockwaves in the financial sector. By 8pm, none of the former executives from the National Bank of Kenya and Chase Bank had showed up at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, more than four hours after the ultimatum expired.
Mr Boinett had directed the arrests saying the executives had been involved in unethical conduct, including taking loans and lending to their cliques in disregard of all guidelines.
The arrest warrant came about two hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta gave his approval of the Central Bank of Kenya’s move to place Chase Bank under receivership. Mr Kenyatta, who wound up his official tour of France and Germany yesterday, said he was confident that the painful decisions taken by Dr Patrick Njoroge, the CBK boss, were essential to clean up the country’s financial system. “Our major interest is to protect depositors’ money and ensure all banks follow the law and regulations in the sector. I am not worried because the CBK is working hard to remove weaknesses in the banking sector,” Kenyatta said.