NYS graft suspects hit with additional charges

Businesswoman Josephine Kabura when she appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee. [File, Standard]
Hairdresser Josephine Kabura has been charged afresh over the loss of Sh791 million at the National Youth Service (NYS).

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji yesterday amended the charge sheet to introduce fresh money-laundering charges following revelations how the money was moved to various bank accounts.

Mr Haji also amended the dates on which the offences took place, and detailed how the suspects went on a spending spree; purchasing vehicles, parcels of land and houses in a bid to conceal the loot from NYS.

Ms Kabura hit the headlines in 2015 when she swore an affidavit revealing how she was introduced to people who would facilitate tendering processes at NYS.

Yesterday, she was charged alongside businessman Ben Gethi, John Kago, Samuel Mudanyi, lawyer Patrick Ogolla Onyango, Anthony Gethi, Paul Gachoka, John Hope Vandamme, Martin Wanjohi, Charity Gethi and Jedidah Wangui.

Conceal the source

In the new charges, Kabura, Mr Kago and Mr Onyango are accused of money-laundering. Kabura and Kago allegedly transferred Sh90 million to Onyango’s account. Onyango was their lawyer.

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“Between December 1, 2014 and May 30, 2015, the two defendants engaged in an arrangement to transfer Sh90 million to Patrick Onyango’s account, trading as Ogolla and Company Advocates, while knowing it was part of the Sh791,385,000 stolen from NYS with the intention to conceal the source of the money,” reads the charge sheet.

In another count, Kabura, Kago, Onyango and Gethi are said to have jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of motor vehicles at a cost of Sh23.4 million, while knowing that the said money was proceeds of crime.

Kabura, Charity Wangui, Kago and Gethi denied another charge of buying a Jeep Cherokee car worth Sh6.3 million in a bid to conceal the source of their funds.

Other charges stated that Mudanyi engaged in the purchase of a Toyota Prado worth Sh5.2 million while Kabura, Kago, Gethi and Vandamme purchased a Land Cruiser valued at  Sh5 million, which was part of the Sh791 million siphoned from NYS.

They are further accused of arranging the transfer of Sh77.6 million to several accounts operated by Gethi’s mother Charity Wangui Gethi.

The accused were first charged in 2016. Trial magistrate Martha Mutuku ordered the hearing be set on September 10, 15 and 19.

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