STATE ALLOWED TO REPOSSESS FUNDS LOOTED FROM PUBLIC COFFERS.

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Justice Hedwig Ong'undi of the High court Anti-Corruption division who forfeited 19.6 million property back to the state.

BY SAM ALFAN

A wife of a top Kenya Revenue Authority official has suffered a blow after the High court ordered  the forfeiture of Sh 19.6 million suspected to be laundered funds stolen from coffers of the State.

In her 32 pages judgement, Justice Hedwig Ong’undi of the High court Anti-Corruption division said that  the funds in three bank accounts in the name of Pamela Aboo held at Equity Bank Donholm Branch be forfeited to the state as they are proceeds of crime.

“The Sh 19,688,152 held in account Nos.0820165680743,0820167691973 and 082037205163 Equity Bank Donholm Branch Nairobi County in the name of the of Pamela Aboo are proceeds of crime”. ruled Ong’undi.

Forfeiture orders to issue in terms of all the funds held in said

“Forfeiture orders to issue in terms of all the funds held in said Accounts” added the judge.

The judge said the above funds shall be forfeited to the Government and transferred to the Assets Recovery Agency.

While making the orders the Judge observed that Aboo  who is the wife to Alex Mukhwana Khisa an employee of KRA did not  give any explanation of the source of the huge deposits into her accounts at the said bank accounts.

It is suspected that it was the said Mukhwana who was making the said deposits to his wife’s accounts.

The funds were forfeited following an application filed in court by Assets Recovery Agency through investigator Isaac Nakitare who sought the monies be forfeited on grounds that Aboo accounts had been used as a conduit for corrupt moneys that have not been lawfully acquired or proceeds of crime.

Aboo through her lawyer said there is no dispute that the cash deposits in her accounts involved huge sums of money from various quarters.

In her defence, Aboo claimed that she invested with one Samson Waweru.

She further claimed that she deals in cereals which she purchases from busia and sells in various markets. She also informed the court that  transports her products by Motorbike.

She further said she does not deposit any cash in Busia and so carries it to Nairobi where she deposits it in bits.

She confirmed that she had never made any withdrawals save for a request to transfer Sh 2.1 million to a person who was selling her land and the request was declined by the Bank.

Assets Recovery Agency through senior assistant state counsel Mohammed Adow said that, Aboo accounts have been used as a conduit for corrupt moneys in other words moneys that have not been lawfully acquired or proceeds of crime.

In March , High court declined to issue an order to unfreeze bank account belonging to businesswoman, whose money is suspected to have been illegally obtained.

Justice Lydia Achode dismissed an application by filed Pamela Aboo, seeking orders to have her three bank accounts held at Equity bank unfrozen BY assets recovery agency.

The accounts has Sh20 million which she failed to explain its sources. The judge said that from the application by the business lady who is a wife to KRA senior officer,  she has not demonstrated how she obtained the money which the Asset Recovery Agency suspect to be proceed of crime. She dismissed the application seeking review of the order obtained by the Agency freezing the bank accounts, saying that the court is not satisfied with reasons given by Aboo.

The Agency through Senior State legal officer Mohammed Adow had indicated in its replying affidavit that the funds under preservation are suspected to have been acquired through bribery and money laundering by her husband.

The lady’s bank account were frozen on July 14, 2017 through an order issued by the Chief Magistrate’s court sitting in Milimani, Nairobi.

The pointed out that the Agency has already filed an application seeking order forfeiture, the application is yet to be heard.

“Despite the business woman maintaining that the money in question arise from her various business, she gave no evidence to demonstrate the sources and the kind of trade she conducts”, Justice Achode said.

The statements by Aboo concerning the relevant bank accounts show that she  only made deposits and did not  withdraw, saying  that she did not submit to court any form of proof as invoice and payments from customers.

“I note that Aboo has not demonstrated to the court that she relies on the said monies to provide day to day expenses. Freezing the account therefore will not deprive her of reasonable living expenses, since it is not an account she withdraws money from”, the judge said.

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