A Nairobi businesswoman, Elizabeth Wanjiru, is facing charges for allegedly refusing to return Sh392,000 mistakenly sent to her M-Pesa agent number by a bank employee. The incident, which occurred last month, has sparked discussions about mobile money transactions and the legal implications of mistaken transfers.
Frida Wangechi, an employee at Equity Bank’s Ruai branch, deposited Sh392,000 into Wanjiru’s M-Pesa account as her working capital. However, she mistakenly made the transaction twice, transferring a total of Sh784,000. Wangechi alerted her superiors and attempted to reverse the extra Sh392,000, but the effort was unsuccessful.
CCTV footage of the customer being served and a bank statement showing the suspect withdrawing only Sh392,000 are listed as exhibits in the case.
Despite requests from bank officials to leave the money untouched, Wanjiru reportedly withdrew the entire Sh784,000 and switched off her phone, becoming unreachable. This led to her arrest and subsequent charges of intentionally withholding electronic payment, a crime in Kenya.
Wanjiru pleaded not guilty during her arraignment before Chief Magistrate Tito Gesora of the Makadara Law Courts. She was released on bail of Sh100,000, and the case will continue on April 5th, followed by a trial starting on July 8th.