KEBS boss Ongwae freed on Ksh.10M bond in attempted murder charge

KEBS boss Ongwae freed on Ksh.10M bond in attempted murder charge

Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director Charles Ongwae and other KEBS officials charged with attempted murder over the importation of sub-standard goods into the country have been freed on a bond of Ksh.10 million and Ksh.3 million surety each.

Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot further directed Mr. Ongwae and each of his co-accused to deposit a Ksh.2 million cash bail for their temporary release.

This was in relation to the first count where the KEBS officials and directors of a company identified as OCP Kenya Ltd are charged over the importation of 5.8 million kilograms of compound fertilizer from Morocco.

In the second charge, Mr. Ongwae and other KEBS officers were each freed on a Ksh.5 million bond with a surety of a similar amount and a Ksh.3 million cash bail over the importation of fake import standardization mark (ISM) stickers.

They were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government over Ksh.800 million through importation of faulty ISM stickers.

The DPP noted that KEBS hired a company, M/s Madras Private Security Ltd, to supply ISM stickers with high quality security features and traceability to the KEBS database, however, the marks supplied were of poor quality and easy to forge.

“The mark supplied has been found to be prone to photocopying, scanning and misuse by unscrupulous traders thereby defeating the purpose of its procurement,” said the DPP.

Meanwhile, the court also issued a warrant of arrest against directors of OCP Kenya and Madras Private Security, which are implicated in the case.

The prosecution had opposed the release of the suspects on bond arguing that they are likely to interfere with witnesses, an argument that was opposed by the defence team led by lawyer Cliff Ombeta.

The accused, who have been in custody since Friday last week, denied all the charges.

The pre-trial was set for July 2, 2018.