Police hold luxury cars in dam scandal

Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti.

The Italian contractor at the centre of Sh21 billion dams scandal purchased 28 top of the range vehicles, which investigators claim were diverted from the project. 

Inspector Gilbert Kitalia, the lead investigator, said CMC di Ravenna acquired 45 vehicles from Toyota Kenya at Sh160 million, but only 17 were registered in its name.

The rest were collected without any registration details and were discovered kept in two privately-owned storage facilities in Nairobi.

Another Sh77 million had also been paid to Toyota Kenya by CMC di Ravenna but the purpose for the transfer is not expressly indicated in the court papers.

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“That we further conducted investigations at Toyota Kenya to establish the purpose of the payments which investigations revealed that they had received Sh160,275,928 which was for the purpose of purchase of 45 units such as Prados, Fortuners, Corollas, Hiace Vans and double cabin pickups,” Kitalia said in his affidavit.

His report is based on the investigation on some Sh7.6 billion down payment for the construction of Arror and Kimwarer multi-purpose dams in Kerio Valley. Detective suspect that some of the funds were wired out of the country, besides the Sh500 million paid to local suppliers who delivered home fittings and supplies and the vehicles.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has already seized 37 of the vehicles.

In his affidavit, Kitalia said the vehicles were potential court exhibits depending on the outcome of the criminal investigations into suspected  kickbacks paid by the Italian firm to Kenyan officials.

Following the detention of the vehicles, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and DCI boss George Kinoti want to be enjoined in the civil case pitting Barclays Bank of Kenya against the contractor. Barclays had sought to repossess the vehicles and other equipment to recover Sh600 million it had lent to CMC di Ravenna, and is also fighting to have them stored at a yard of its choice in Nakuru.

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The bank, through Iseme, Kamau and Maema (IKM) Advocates, argued that the company might go under before repaying Sh595,655,552 it borrowed to finance the purchase of the equipment. Justice Francis Tuiyott granted orders and directed the firm to surrender 98 vehicles and equipment it had already purchased for the construction of Arror and Kimwarer dams.

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Directorate of Criminal InvestigationsDCIBarclays BankArror and Kimwarer dams