BY SAM ALFAN.
The High court has frozen over 62 million being held in two accounts belonging to a Mandera county government employee and his wife.
In a ruling, the court ordered the Sh40,806,532.00 million being held in an account of Abdi Mohammed Ali, a county employee and another account jointly held by Ali and his wife Saadia Sheikh Osma, which has Sh21,448,100, be preserved for 60 days.
The two were prohibited from withdrawing , transferring or dealing with the money either by themselves or through their servants, agents or representatives.
Asset Recovery Agency filed an urgent application before High court Anti-corruption court seeking to preserve the money, suspecting it to be proceed of crime, having been siphoned from the Madera County government.
Sergeant Fredrick Musyoki, an investigator with the agency said on the February 20, 2020 they received information that the two accounts were suspected to hold money which is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Both accounts are held are at Equity Bank Mandera Branch.
The Agency said it opened an Inquiry file number 7 of 2020 to investigate the activities in the said accounts for the purpose of ascertaining whether they hold any funds that are proceeds of crime.
And on February 25, 2020, he filed an ex-Parte application seeking orders to search, inspect, seize, freeze and preserve funds in the said accounts owned or controlled by the couple.
The investigator Respondents was granted 14 days.
The investigations later revealed massive cash deposits into the two bank accounts.
“The said bank accounts received suspicious huge cash deposits in Kenya Shillings and the funds are suspected to be stolen and/or fraudulently acquired from Mandera County Government by the Respondents, their agents or representatives and deceitfully deposited into the above accounts”, the agency.
The investigations revealed that the cash deposits were unlawfully acquired hence proceeds of crime pursuant to the Provisions of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
The agency adds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accounts are used as conduits of money laundering contrary to Sections 3, 4 and 7 as read together with Section 16 of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds held in the Respondents’ accounts, were deposited by the Respondents or their agents, associates and conduits from illegitimate sources, designed to conceal their sources and were a scheme of Money Laundering contrary to the provisions of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) and thus proceeds of crime liable to be preserved pending filing and determination of intended forfeiture application by the Applicant”, adds the agency.
ARA also said there is a real danger that the said funds may be withdrawn spent or dissipate rendering this application and the intended forfeiture application nugatory and it is in the public interest that the orders sought are granted and the suspect funds be preserved.