Financial crimes: New unit to recover and manage ill-gotten wealth

The National Treasury is in the process of setting up a criminal assets recovery fund as part of the fight against financial crimes in the country.

The fund will hold stolen and unexplained wealth, proceeds of crime and money laundering, as well as assets confiscated from criminal organisations.

Treasury said in a legal notice on Tuesday the recovered funds would be spent on training and better-equipping law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system.

The establishment of the fund will complete the list of required institutions to wage a full-scale war on financial crimes. 

There is currently no laid down procedures on how funds recovered from crime should be managed. Money recovered by Britain from the Chickengate scandal investigations in 2017 was used to purchase ambulances for various counties.

In some countries such as in the UK, the funds are normally given to community-based development initiatives.

The fund will be managed by the Attorney General, the Central Bank Governor, Treasury Principal Secretary, the chief executive of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner-General.

Other members of the committee are Director of Public Prosecutions, Director of Criminal Investigations, and an administrator of the fund who will be its secretary and an ex-officio member of the committee. Treasury on Tuesday published the legal notice asking the public to comment and give their views on the management and use of the fund.

"The National Treasury has finalised preparing the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund Administration Regulations, 2019 and members of the public are invited to submit their comments," said Treasury on its website.

The initial capital of the fund will be Sh20 million as appropriated by Parliament in the financial year 2019/2020.

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