Murang'a: Four arraigned over theft of KSh2M worth of drugs from Level V Hospital

for Tv47 Digital February 28, 2023, 02:30 PM
The four suspects - Anthony Ng’ang’a, Ann Nyawira, Fridah Wangechi and Linus Mureithi - were arraigned before Senior Resident Magistrate Eric Musambai on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. PHOTO/TV47 DIGITAL-Joe Gathuya

In Summary

  • The four suspects - Anthony Ng’ang’a, Ann Nyawira, Fridah Wangechi and Linus Mureithi - were arrested on Friday after Ng’ang’a was found with drugs in his car in Murang’a town.

  • Ng’ang’a was taken to Murang’a Police Station where he was interrogated and named the three others who he said supplied him with the drugs.

Four people suspected of stealing drugs worth KSh2 million from Murang'a Level 5 Hospital have been arrested and arraigned before a Murang’a law court.

The four - Anthony Ng’ang’a, Ann Nyawira, Fridah Wangechi and Linus Mureithi - were arrested on Friday after Ng’ang’a was found with drugs in his car in Murang’a town.

Ng’ang’a was taken to Murang’a Police Station where he was interrogated and named the three others who he said supplied him with the drugs.

The prosecution told Senior Resident Magistrate Eric Musambai that he then took the officers to the hospital where the three suspects who are casual workers were tricked into bringing more drugs to him before they were arrested.

Drug theft syndicate?

Once interrogated, the three suspects mentioned the names of other suspects involved in the drugs theft ring, and who are also workers at the hospital but are yet to be arrested, the court heard.

The prosecution applied to hold the suspects in police custody for 14 days saying it had been supplied with S11 notes that are used to order for supplies by individual departments and invoices from Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) that needed to be scrutinized.

The prosecution also noted that it needed sufficient time to record the statements of heads of departments in which the suspects were working and record statements of Drugs and Poisons Board officials to establish if the drugs confiscated belonged to the Ministry of Health.

The suspects however urged the court to release them on cash bail saying they will be reporting to the police station every day or when needed.

Ng’ang’a on his part said his wife suffers from convulsions and that he needed to be by her side at night when they occur.

Wangechi said she has children who wholly depend on her and that their education may be disrupted if she is incarcerated.

Mureithi told the court that he started working at the hospital in 2005 and that he has been entrusted with departments such as the cash office and that no misappropriations were ever reported.

Murang'a Governor Irungu Kang'ata stands next to a police vehicle carrying the suspected stolen drugs at the Murang'a Law Courts. PHOTO | TV47 DIGITAL-Joe Gathuya

In custody until March 8

The prosecution however expressed concerns that the suspects could interfere with witnesses and other suspects yet to be arrested.

The magistrate granted the prosecution’s application and ordered them to remain in police custody until March 8 when their case will be mentioned.

Speaking to journalists earlier, Murang’a East Sub-County Police Commander Mary Wakuu said they laid an ambush after getting information that drugs were being sneaked out of the hospital and managed to intercept a vehicle that was loaded with them, arresting the motorist.

Governor Irungu Kang’ata said he had received reports of rampant theft of drugs at the hospital and liaised with the police who set a trap.

Some of the suspects, he said, fled after realizing that they were being sought, vowing to ensure all are prosecuted.

He said the county has been expending millions of shillings to ensure health facilities have drugs and that it is unfortunate some individuals have been diverting them for their selfish gains, endangering the lives of patients.

On his part, speaker Johnson Mukuha said it is the digitization of health operations that helped discover the abnormal movement of drugs and led to the arrest.

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