Asset Recovery Agency in court to recover Sh385m from businessman

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) CEO Twalib Mbarak with the Director of Assets Recovery Agency Muthoni Kimani. [Courtesy]

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has stepped up its push to recover Sh385 million from a businessman it accuses of siphoning the money from the County Government of Mandera.

In submissions filed before the High Court, ARA claims that Ali Abdi Ibrahim cannot explain the source of the Sh385 million found in his two accounts and that the investigations have revealed the money was acquired from three companies that traded with the county government.

State counsel Jennifer Gitiri representing the agency argued that an analysis of Ibrahim’s accounts showed a systematic pattern of money laundering where some of the amounts were deposited in cash while others were wired from other banks.

“The amounts are proceeds of crime that must be forfeited to the state. He has failed to prove how and why the suspicious cash transactions were deposited in his account. He cannot even show evidence of any business he transacted with the county government of Mandera,” said Gitiri.

According to ARA, the huge amounts are suspected to have been stolen from the county government of Mandera and deposited to Ibrahim’s accounts to conceal the source when he has no legitimate businesses to generate the total amount.

Ms Gitiri submitted that the cash was being deposited in his account by unknown people and even after being summoned to explain, he could not tell where the money came from.

She said some of the cash deposit were made in tranches of below Sh1 million to avoid raising suspicion and that records at the Kenya Revenue Authority showed that he did not pay any taxes to prove he was trading with the county government.

“Without any evidence to substantiate the source of his funds, we are left with only one conclusion that they are proceeds of crime. His defence that he was sub-contracted by other companies to do construction work are baseless and lies meant to hoodwink the court,” said Gitiri.