The State Retrieves Sh200 million  from Rigathi Gachagua.

Judge Esther Maina of the High Court concluded on Thursday that the politician, who is also Kenya Kwanza’s choice for deputy president, has not adequately explained how he obtained the wealth from government institutions.

The High Court froze Sh200 million that belonged to Mr. Gachagua in 2020 while it was awaiting a petition from a State agency requesting that the money be forfeited to the government.

Due to transfers made from government agencies to businesses connected to the politician, as evidenced by court documents, the money are thought to constitute the proceeds of crime.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) reports that early investigations revealed Mr. Gachagua and Jenne Enterprises Limited were associated with an alleged sophisticated money laundering scam.

The money was provided by the State Department for Special Planning, the Ministry of Health, the Bungoma County government, the Mathira Constituency Development Fund, the Nyeri County government, and the National Irrigation Board. It also came from the Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme). The MP and Jenne Enterprises were barred by Justice John Onyiego of the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court from handling or transferring the funds.

Three accounts at Rafiki Micro Finance Bank are used to hold the money; one holds Sh165 million, the other Sh35 million, and the third Sh773,228. The MP is listed as the owner of all three.

A fourth account with Sh1,138,142 in it is opened in Jenne Enterprises’ name. According to court documents, the MP collected Sh5.8 billion over a seven-year period, including money from businesses that provided services to county governments, state agencies, and ministries.

The agency allegedly got information on purported intricate money-laundering operations and criminal proceeds on March 30.

The agency launched an investigation, then requested and received warrants to look into the accounts. The documents further revealed that after being transferred to businesses or other legal entities, the money was eventually moved to Mr. Gachagua’s personal fixed deposit account.

“That within the said period, there were massive suspicious cash withdrawals, transfers, inter and intra-bank transfers from other accounts to the accounts under investigations and other bank accounts owned by Mr Gachagua in suspicious complex money-laundering schemes,” the agency said.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that the suspect’s bank accounts were used as a conduit for money laundering in efforts to conceal, disguise the nature, source, disposition and movement of illicit funds and should be preserved,” the agency submitted to court.

According to ARA, it was concerned that the MP would probably remove the monies and thwart the cause of justice if the court did not step in.

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Written by Esther Oyugi

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