BY PHOEBE WANJOHI.
It is a big blow to a city couple accused of drug trafficking, trading in wildlife trophies and money laundering after the high court order them to forfeit Sh10.5 million and property worth millions to the State.
This is after justice Mumbi ngugi declared that the monies in two business Sidjoe Manufacturers and suppliers and Marudiono zone limited associated with them to be proceeds of crime.
The court further forfeited two luxury motor vehicles Ranger Rover and Mercedes Benz and parcel of land.
In her ruling, judge Mumbi ruled that ruled that Assest Recovery Agency(ARA) had established the the money and assets held by businessman Joseph Wanjohi and his wife Jane Wambui Wanjiku were obtained through proceeds of crime.
“Accordingly, the application dated February 11,2019 succeeds and I grant orders as prayed theirin with costs to the applicant”, ruled judge mumbi.
Justice Ngugi said sale of shoes, T-shirts among others as alleged by the couple cannot result to level of funds deposited in their accounts.
The Judge further agreed with the Agency that their activities are threat to national security, public good and leads to erosion of societal good values by rendering the youth of the country unproductive hence leading them to be susceptible to hard core criminal activities.
“We know the damage crime of narcotic drugs has brought on families and devastation caused trade in wildlife trophies. We can’t over emphasize on determent of such illegal trade. We must ensure they don’t enjoy from proceeds of such crimes,” she said.
The orders comes after ARA petitioned the court seeking to have the property by the couple whoa are the directors of the companiesforfeirted to the state but first sought for preservation of the same pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
On November 16,2018, the same court issued orders restraining businessman and two companies from withdrawing 10.5 million from their accounts.
Further, the court ordered the businessman to surrender his two luxury cars to the Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti within seven days failure to which DCI should seize and detain them.
The then presiding Justice Hedwig Ong’undi barred Joseph Wanjohi ,Jane Wambui Wanjiku , Sidjoe Manufacturers and suppliers and Marudiono zone Limited from transferring , transacting , withdrawing , using and other dealing in respect of funds held at Barclays Bank Muthaiga and Barclay’s Bank Moi Avenue.
“Sh 10,013,187,60 held in account in the name of Sidjoe Manufacturers and suppliers held at Barclays Bank Muthaiga North Branch Nairobi”. Ordered Judge Ong’undi.
The court also issued preservation barring businessman Joseph Wanjohi from transferring or withdrawing the money in his account.
” She 575,882,20 held in account in the name of Joseph Wanjohi held at Barclays Bank Moi Avenue branch , Nairobi,” the court ordered.
The presiding judge further issued orders restraining transfer or sale of two luxury cars Range Rover KBU 950W and Mercedes Benz KCD 299H both registered under the name of Joseph Wanjohi.
The businessman was ordered to surrender the motor vehicles specified to the Director of Criminal Investigation Headquarters within seven days.Wanjohi was ordered to surrender th original logbooks of the motor vehicles to Asset Recovery Agency.
“In the event the respondents fail to surrender the above motor vehicles as specified , the Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti is hereby ordered to seize and detain the motor vehicles specified under order 3 above”. Ordered Judge Ong’undi.
The judge further ordered the Director General of National and Safety Authority to register caveats against the records of each of the motor vehicles. The Anti-Corruption court further prohibited Joseph Wanjuhi ,His wife and two companies associated with him from selling or any dealing from four lands registered under their business Marudiano Zone Limited.
The said land’s as per the court order are L.R NO.27981/7 and I.R 122131/65 registered in the name of Marudiano Zone Limited.
L.R NO. 16217/87/17 and I.R 90025 registered in the name of Marudiano Zone Limited.
L.R.NO. 27981/8 and I.R 122131 registered in the name of Marudiano Zone Limited.
The Chief Land Registrar is hereby ordered to register caveats against the records of each of the properties.
Orders were issued against each one of the respondents , their agents,servants or any other persons acting on their behalf prohibiting the sale transfer or other dealing with Wanjohi’s luxury cars .
While responding to the application, Wanjohi said said their business has stalled as a consequence of the frozen accounts thus jeopardizing their business transactions. They further contended that the preservation orders obtained against the application was open ended without a time frame within which investigations were to be conducted thus jeopardising their business.
They also claimed that majority of their assets preserved were acquired before the year 2099 to 2018 the period alleged that they had received money from illegal activities. They added that the alleged orders granted were previously the subject of preservation orders before the magistrate’s court for three months since August 28,2018.
Wanjohi, his wife and the company dismissed and termed the allegations that they had been depositing cash in tranches of below shillings one million to avoid detection and questioning by the central bank of Kenya as a non starter.
Regarding the drinks seized from their home , the applicants averred that they have been since been returned to them as the same constitute genuine import business. Touching on motor vehicle vehicle KBU 940W , the applicants stated that the property does not exist as it was involved in a road accident and same marked as a write off.
While disputing involvement in illegal trade on wildlife trophies , they termed the same as trumped up allegations and charges without cogent evidence and they had no relationship with acquisition of their property before July 2018 when those claims were made.
They also stated that they have been engaging in legitimate importation , wholesale and retail business of high beverages including alcohol and attached copies copies of cheques showing various bank slips made to the banks by customers and clients among others.