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Court freezes property of former KRA staff worth Sh192m over graft claims

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba | October 8th 2021

 

Judge’s gavel [Courtesy]

Properties valued at Sh192 million belonging to a former supervisor at Kenya Revenue Authority have been frozen over allegations of being proceeds of corruption.

High Court Judge Esther Maina issued the orders prohibiting Jeremiah Kamau Kinyua from selling, transferring or disposing of the properties in Nairobi, Kiambu and Laikipia counties following a suit by the anti-graft commission claiming that the assets were acquired through fraud.

Justice Maina also stopped Kinyua, his wife Theresa Njeri, and their two companies Cherya Enterprises Limited and Bestline Enterprises Limited from disposing of a vehicle valued at Sh3.5 million.

“The respondents and their agents or any other person working through them are hereby prohibited from transferring of dealing in any way with the listed properties to enable the commission complete investigations and institute another suit to recover the assets,” ruled Maina.

The judge directed that the freezing orders shall last for six months to enable Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission complete investigations and file the formal suit to recover the proceeds.

Kinyua’s affected properties include a vehicle, twelve parcels of land located in Ruiru, Kiambu County, five plots in Githunguri, Kiambu County, a piece of land in Laikipia, another plot in Nairobi all valued at Sh.192 million. 

According to documents filed in court by EACC, Kinyua worked for KRA for a period of 15 years before he resigned which raised suspicion on how he acquired his wealth.

He is said to have joined the taxman as a graduate trainee in 2005 before being appointed as a compliance and enforcement officer. In 2015, he was promoted to the position of supervisor and he held it until his resignation in March 2021.

During his period of employment, the commission claimed that Kinyua earned an average of Sh120,000 per month while his wife had no other source of income since she indicated that she was a farmer.

EACC claimed that in a period of seven years between 2012 and 2020, Kinyua acquired massive properties which were not proportionate with his known sources of income and which made them suspect they were acquired through corruption.

“Our investigations found a huge disproportion between the value of Kinyua’s assets and his known legitimate source of income. We suspect that he engaged in corruption and economic crimes as a result of which he has unexplained assets totalling Sh192,020,582,” said EACC.

EACC said they received information that Kinyua being a public officer at KRA accumulated assets which are disproportionate to his known legitimate sources of income between January 2012 to January 2021 and upon preliminary investigations established he could not explain the sources.

The commission’s lawyer Grace Maina told the court that between 2012 and January 2021, Kinyua net salary and known sources of income totaled Sh11 million which does not correspond to the accumulated wealth.

“Preliminary investigations have established that in just seven years between 2013 and 2020, he acquired the listed properties which we have every reason to belief were acquired through fraudulent and corrupt practices,” said Maina.

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