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Agency targets properties linked to Sh791m NYS scam

By Kamau Muthoni and Fred Makana | March 23rd 2016 at 00:06:24 GMT +0300

Ben Gethi

NAIROBI: The Assets Recovery Agency (ASA) is seeking to recover more properties allegedly acquired using the Sh791 million stolen from the National Youth Service (NYS).

The agency has filed a new application in a bid to have the court preserve eight more properties, including a city restaurant allegedly bought at Sh16 million by Ben Gethi’s pointman John Kago Ndung’u.

“It is fair and just that the proceeds of crime should be forfeited to the Government and applied for public good on behalf of the citizens of Kenya who are victims of crime,” Muthoni Kimani stated in her application dated March 14 this year.

The agency is also after three parcels of land in Muthaiga North, Thika and Rosslyn Estate, Nairobi. ASA also wants the court to order a Range Rover allegedly bought by Gethi and Eden Times Restaurant, situated along Moi Avenue, to be forfeited.

Investigations officer Jeremiah Matipei in his affidavit stated that investigations had revealed that the land in Thika cost Sh35 million. A lawyer from Michael Daud and Company Advocates was reportedly instructed to register the land in the name of Charity Wangui Gethi, Gethi’s mother.

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The lawyer, Ms Glinis Scholastica Nyambura Kigera, also allegedly purchased Eden Times, situated at Mercury Building, along Moi Avenue on instructions of Kago and registered it under joint ownership of Gethi’s mother and sister Jedidah Wangari.

PURCHASE RESTAURANT

“Our investigations revealed that John Kago instructed Glinis Scholastica Kigera, an advocate working at the firm of Michael Daud and Co. Advocates, to act on his behalf in a transaction to purchase a restaurant known as Eden Times Restaurant,” said the court papers.

The Muthaiga property, according to the documents filed in the court’s registry, was bought at Sh45 million. Kago allegedly first paid Sh4.5 million, being the 10 per cent demanded by the seller and paid the rest in bits of Sh11.4 million and Sh29 million in a span of one month. 

Kago, according to court documents, made the first payment on June 17 last year and closed his side of the deal on July 13.

Gethi allegedly bought the Rosslyn Estate property at a cost of Sh60 million. The alleged NYS saga’s mastermind instructed Ogola and Company Advocates to carry out the transaction. Interestingly, the seller, Crown Rockshield Kenya Ltd, had instructed Kigera to transact on their behalf.

Gethi’s pointman is also claimed to have bought a vehicle (a Range Rover) worth Sh23.4 million on his behalf, but registered it under his name. The investigator stated that the car was later registered under Ogola and Mujera advocates.

Court papers also say that 15 business firms registered under suspected mastermind Josephine Kabura received over Sh500 million from NYS.

“In the course of our investigations we found other 15 business entities belonging to Josephine Kabura Irungu having accounts at Family Bank, KTDA plaza, which were also involved in similar massive fraudulent schemes which received over Sh500 million and laundered through various transactions and criminal investigations are ongoing,” Matipei stated.

Matipei claimed that the Kibera roads rehabilitation works ought to have cost the Government Sh78 million.  According to the investigator, the companies linked to the rip-off masterminds were overpaid.

He said that investigations revealed that the payments were not supported by proper documents. “The figures in the payment vouchers, LPOs, delivery notes and counter receipt vouchers did not tally,” he said, adding that the documents in relation to the payments had been cooked.

“The documents used by the above business entities were confirmed to be forgeries by the document examiner attached to Directorate of Criminal Investigations,” he added.

According to Matipei, the money siphoned from NYS would be transferred from one account to another but without the names of those behind the transactions.


Assets Recovery Agency (ASA) National Youth Service (NYS) Ben Gethi
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