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Documents reveal how Kenyan employee siphoned Sh21M from employer

Jumia Technologies AG, the parent company of Jumia Kenya disclosed that an employee managed to siphon millions

Stock image of a businessman holding black bag full of Kenyan shilling notes

In September 2022, it was discovered that an employee at Jumia Kenya, an e-commerce firm, had stolen approximately $150,000 (Sh21.2 million).

According to the company, the unnamed employee managed to manipulate vendor payment records to siphon the money.

Jumia Technologies AG, the parent company of Jumia Kenya, disclosed this information in its latest filings to US regulators.

We have experienced improper practices, including practices engaged in by our independent sales consultants and a small number of our employees. For example, in September 2022, we discovered that an employee in Kenya manipulated certain vendor payment entries and misappropriated payments in 2021 and 2022.

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While the financial impact in this case was not material (below $150,000), any such illegal, fraudulent or collusive activities by our employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects and could subject us to liability or negative publicity,” the company said.

Jumia added that allegations of employee misconduct led to the improvement of internal controls and our cash reconciliation system.

Jumia's e-commerce platform allows vendors to list goods, and buyers can order and pay for them before or upon delivery.

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The company acknowledged the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and addressing fraudulent activities due to the large number of participants on its platform and the fragmented nature of its business.

Fraud is a growing concern for many companies in Kenya, and technology has brought both opportunities and challenges in this regard.

Safaricom, for example, reported that it had dismissed 33 employees in the year ending March 2023 due to fraud-related offences, an increase from the previous year.

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