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Anti-graft body probes Kamani for four hours

COUNTIES
By ISAAC MESO and CYRUS OMBATI | June 6th 2014

Businessman Deepak Kamani was yesterday probed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) concerning the multi-billion Anglo Leasing scandal.

EACC detectives investigating the scandal had summoned him. He arrived at the commission’s offices at Integrity Centre, in the company of his lawyer Paul Nyamodi at about 8.30am and left four and a half hours later.

In 2011, he had presented himself before the commission for questioning on return from India. EACC officials said they wanted him to answer several questions regarding his role in the scam.

“My client had a hearty interaction with the commission and has responded to all questions that were directed to him. However, any question concerning the summons please direct them to the commission,” Nyamondi told reporters.

“It is not only him but we will summon other persons who are linked to this issue,” said EACC chairman Matemu Mumo. He said they will take necessary action including recommending prosecution as soon as investigations are complete.

Last month, the country paid Sh1.4 billion to two Anglo Leasing-type companies owned by Anura Perera. Earlier in March, Kamani lost an appeal barring EACC from investigating him. The Court of Appeal then overturned a High Court ruling that barred the EACC from interfering with the passports of Mr Kamani and his brother Rashmi Kamani.

The anti-corruption body had started investigations against the Kamani brothers in 2006 over corruption allegations and economic crimes involving procurement of security projects between the Government and some companies, including the Anglo-Leasing and Finance Company Ltd.The   dispute    started in 2006 when the commission started investigating graft allegations and economic crimes involving procurement of security projects between the Government and Anglo Leasing companies.

Evade investigations

On March 30, 2006 the Immigration ministry cancelled their Kenyan passports on grounds that their absence was a deliberate way of evading investigations into the  scam.  

The two moved to court before it declared that the cancellation of the passports was unconstitutional, hence null and void.      

The commission appealed against the decision arguing that the High Court erred by failing to appreciate that they had a mandate to protect public interest and to ensure individuals under investigations do not flee the country.   

Although Kamani had been on the run since the Anglo Leasing scandal broke out in 2004, he returned to the country in 2011 and appeared before the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission ( KACC). Among the controversial contracts awarded to Kamani was the supply of 994 security vehicles and spare parts to the Office of the President whose delivery was to be done in eight years and the Government was to repay the company over a period of 13 years.

Kamani was the director of Kamsons, a motor firm that sold a fleet of low-technology India-manufactured Mahindra four-wheel drive vehicles to Kenya Police in 1993. Some of the contracts awarded to Kamani that were negotiated for cancellation and restitution include supply of the Forensic Laboratories for CID, Immigration Security Equipment, E-Cops/Info talent, security vehicles and modernisation of police equipment.

According to valuation reports prepared by PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the State paid the suppliers more than the value of works, goods, and services delivered under each of the contracts associated with Kamani.  In August 2004, the Treasury suspended payments due to 11 security-related contracts over concerns that the Government was not receiving value for money. Two court rulings, one in 2006 and another this year, led to attempts to seize Kenya’s assets abroad by Anglo Leasing creditors.

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