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Court freezes businesswoman's assets over claims of trafficking narcotic drugs

By Paul Ogemba | Sep 25th 2020 | 2 min read

The State is the process of getting permission to recover businesswoman Joyce Akinyi's multi-million shilling property linked to drug trafficking.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi yesterday issued an order stopping Akinyi (pictured) from disposing of two vehicles following an application by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) to have her assets and Sh34 million in her bank accounts forfeited to the State. “A preservation order is hereby issued stopping her or her employees from selling, transferring or disposing of motor vehicle registration number KCR 521Z Toyota Crown and KCG 856G Toyota DBA pending determination of the suit,” ruled Ngugi.

Justice Ngugi ordered Akinyi to surrender the vehicles’ original logbooks to ARA within seven days and directed the National Transport and Safety Authority to register a caveat against the two vehicles.

Akinyi was arrested in July last year while in possession of a kilogram of heroin at her Deep West Hotel residence in Nairobi.

ARA argued that they began investigations soon after Akinyi’s arrest and prosecution to establish the sources of her wealth.

“The assets and property were obtained through illegitimate trade in narcotic drug substances, hence are proceeds of crime that should be forfeited to the government,” said ARA lawyer Joyce Ngelechei.

Ms Ngelechei argued that it was the obligation of every State to combat such trade and that suspects should not benefit and enjoy wealth they acquire through criminal activities.

The agency’s investigating officer Fredrick Muriuki, in his affidavit, detailed how Akinyi would sell the narcotics and deposit the proceeds in small tranches in her two accounts at Stanbic Bank to conceal the sources of her funds.

Mr Muriuki swore that Akinyi’s bank accounts received "suspiciously huge sums" that indicated she was engaged in money laundering and that at one point, she deposited Sh20 million in a day without disclosing the source.

“We established that her two bank accounts had a total deposit of Sh34 million within a span of two years. She did not have any other source of income, which made us believe the money was acquired through proceeds of crime,” swore Muriuki.

Muriuki said they suspected Akinyi’s Deep West Resort was the hub of her illegal business after the heroin consignment and several fake passports were seized at the premise.

The businesswoman was charged alongside Congolese national Mape Marline Kambura with trafficking 1,050 grams of heroin with a market value of Sh3 million and being in possession of forged passports the prosecution claimed she uses to disguise her identity.

Akinyi will counter the application on 23 October.

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