Olympics: Kenya's Olympic team leader charged with theft

The team manager for Kenya's Olympic contingent in Rio has been charged with stealing more than 25 million shillings (S$336,000).
The team manager for Kenya's Olympic contingent in Rio has been charged with stealing more than 25 million shillings (S$336,000). PHOTO: REUTERS

Nairobi (AFP) - Kenya's Rio Olympics manager Stephen Soi was charged on Wednesday with four counts of stealing more than 25 million shillings (S$336,000) destined for athletes and officials in Brazil.

Soi, who denied the charges, is the National Olympic Committee of Kenya's (Nock) assistant secretary.

He was accused of fraudulently taking the money out of the country without informing immigration officers.

Kenyan prosecutors said Soi, a former police officer, being an official trustee of Nock, stole the money which had been entrusted to him by Athletics Kenya "for purposes of making payments towards the accommodation of Kenyan athletes and officials during the Rio Olympics in Brazil".

Two Nock officials, vice-chairman Pius Ochieng and secretary-general, Francis Kinyili Paul, also appeared in the same court charged with fraudulently acquiring the Team Kenya kit from Nike.

A fourth official, treasurer Fridah Shiroya, who was also being investigated over the mismanagement of the country's team at the Rio Olympics, was cleared of any wrongdoing after she accepted to become a state prosecution witness.

The scandal has eclipsed Kenya's best-ever performance at the Summer Olympics, where the country scooped a total of 13 medals, including six golds.