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How bid to unmask local Anglo Leasing ghosts failed

COUNTIES
By GEOFFREY MOSOKU | May 22nd 2014

Nairobi, Kenya: It has emerged that the anti-corruption agency wrote to Swiss authorities in 2007 seeking help to unmask the identities of people behind the fraudulent Anglo Leasing deals.

In the letter, the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) named 20 people and companies under investigation over Anglo Leasing for “the contracts that were signed by corrupt Kenyan officials named in return for financial or other inducements”.

KACC was the predecessor of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

KACC Director Aaron Ringera, in a dossier sent to Federal Office of Justice and Police in Geneva dated May 3, 2007, informed the Swiss authorities that contracts between Universal Satspace and First Mercantile Securities Corporation on one hand, and Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) on the other, were obtained through fraud and misrepresentation.

Lost cases

It is the two contracts for which the Government will fork out Sh1.4 billion after it lost civil cases under controversial circumstances.

Mr Ringera insisted that the Ministry of Information and Communication signed the tender on behalf of PCK to acquire broadband yet under law, PCK is a legal entity that is mandated to enter into contracts. The parent ministry’s role is only to guarantee loans and procure on behalf of an entity by presenting a Cabinet memo.

“Government procurement regulations (which have the force of law) and procedures were not followed. No due diligence was conducted to ascertain if the financiers and suppliers had capacity to deliver. Interviews by KACC found that GoK officials neither met the financiers (FMSC) or the supplier, nor did they meet Universal Satspace representatives to discuss or negotiate the contracts.

“The contract seems to have been executed by shadowy figures whose identities cannot be established.”

KACC investigations also revealed that the process of the contracts was inflated while documents revealed that Michael Allan, who was allegedly the sales manager for Satspace Africa region, did not appear anywhere as a director or employee of the US firm.

“No power of attorney was produced by the person claiming to be Michael Allan to show that he could negotiate on behalf of FMSC and Universal Satspace. No person of that name appears as director or employee. This shows that he was an impostor and a fraudster who falsely presented himself as an employee of a company that had no involvement with the project.”

KACC dossier

According to KACC dossier, Universal Satspace was only registered in Delaware, US, two months prior to signing of the contract with the Ministry of Information and Communication while the alleged financier, FMSC, was not registered in Switzerland at the time of signing the contract and was only introduced to the Kenya Government by Michael Allan.

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