KENYA – A former East African Breweries Limited (EABL) director of procurement was on Thursday charged in court with stealing more than Sh243 million from the beer maker.
Aristide Brilliant Nkoumondo, a Cameroonian, is facing four counts of theft by servant, which carries a prison term of up to seven years if found guilty of the offence.
He is believed to have embezzled the funds on four different occasions between April and October 2011.
Investigators handling the matter claim that Mr Nkoumondo colluded with other persons to commit the crime but the charge sheets do not specify whether other employees were involved.
“On April 6, July 6, July 18 and October 18, jointly with others not before court being an employee of East African Breweries, as a director of procurement, Aristide Nkoumondo stole Sh243,227,500 which came into his possession by virtue of his employment,” the charge sheet reads.
Senior principal magistrate Grace Mumasi ordered the former EABL procurement boss to deposit his passport with the authorities after the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions argued that he is a flight risk.
Mr Nkoumondo joined EABL in July 2008 from Nestle Ghana where he had been the supply chain director for one-and-half years before joining the brewer.
Investigators say he stole Sh58.7 million in April 2011, Sh62.7 million in July 2011 and Sh121.7 million in October 2011.
Police arrested Mr Nkoumondo last Friday and held him in custody until Thursday when he was released on a Sh3 million bond with surety of the same amount.
He was initially to be charged on Monday, but his arraignment was pushed forward to allow police and the office of the DPP time to complete investigations.
The Cameroonian will be tried on August 4 and 5 before Ms Mumasi.
Mr Nkoumondo paints a glowing picture of his achievements as EABL’s director of procurement, a position he held for four years between July 2008 and August 2012.
“I centralised the procurement function for the entire group, implemented ‘category management’ as the way of procurement, maximising our contribution in terms of cost reduction and improved service,” he says in his LinkedIn page.
Mr Nkoumondo was in charge of procuring materials and resources for EABL’s business including the Ruaraka brewery, the malting plant in Industrial Area and Central Glass Industries which was recently sold off.
Diageo promoted him in 2012 to be the supply chain director for Cameroon, a position he held until late last year when was appointed the managing partner at Innovo, a Paris-based online business-to-business marketplace.
At Nestle, he had also held the position of regional head of procurement for Central and West Africa for three years. Other jobs he held prior to this were senior consultant supply chain at Accenture (he was based in Paris) and also the customer service and logistics director for Colgate Palmolive in 2000.
The procurement docket at EABL is substantial and includes the purchase of raw materials to manufacture its wide portfolio of products as well as manage distribution across the region and export markets.
It is during his tenure that EABL terminated distribution contracts for SDV Transami and Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Express Kenya in 2011 and replaced them with DHL.
The deal was to see DHL handle its warehousing and beer transportation in the country. The deal is estimated to be worth Sh2.28 billion.
The suit comes as Kenya’s corporate scene faces a rise in cases of employee theft and fraud. Chase Bank and retail chain Tuskys have in the last few months had to dismiss close to 100 employees over allegations of theft.
Kenya currently records among the highest incidents of corporate fraud in the world.