Missing nine dams’ vehicles wanted as exhibits in probe - DCI

Arror and Kimwarer dams Italian contractors led by Chief Engineer Eva Luongo (second left), go through a map after addressing the press in Eldoret on Friday. They said they were ready to work on the stalled projects if allowed. [Peter Ochieng', Standard].
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are looking for nine four-wheel drive cars that went missing after they were bought for use at the stalled Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The vehicles — five Toyota Prados, three Toyota Double Cabins and a Land Cruiser Pick-up are believed to have been diverted to personal and private use.

DCI chief George Kinoti said they wanted the public to help trace the vehicles.

“The following motor vehicles are wanted by the DCI urgently, as exhibits in an ongoing investigation… If you own, know or have seen any of the above vehicles, kindly make a report at your nearest police station or DCI headquarters,” he said.

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The vehicles were bought by CMC di Ravenna, the contractor of the dams.

Detectives at various levels have been supplied with details of the vehicles and asked to detain them on sight.

Police had two weeks ago raided premises where the cars were and took away 37 of them.

Detectives said the company 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.

Expressly indicated

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

“That we further conducted investigations at Toyota Kenya to establish the purpose of the payments, which investigations revealed 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,” Gilbert Kitalia, the lead investigator, said.

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.

Detectives 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.

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.

Enjoined in case

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Following the detention of the vehicles, the DPP and DCI 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.

The failure by the contractors to commence the construction of the dams after receiving the mobilisation money has raised questions and divided many politicians with allies of Deputy President William Ruto claiming the probe is political.

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DCIDirectorate of Criminal InvestigationsArror and Kimwarer damsDCI chief George Kinoti