Agency in new bid to recover Sh7m from NYS key suspect

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 00:00 |
NYS scandal prime suspect James Thuita Nderitu.

The Assets Recovery Agency has lodged a fresh application seeking to have Sh7.3 million held in bank accounts belonging to three firms associated with NYS scandal prime suspect James Thuita Nderitu forfeited to the state.

According to ARA, the three firms — Active Electrons Africa Ltd, First Supplies and Ameritrade Ltd — acquired the funds through proceeds of crime and looting of public funds from NYS.

“The court issued an order declaring that the following funds are proceeds of crime and, therefore, liable for forfeiture to the state and transferred to the Asset Recovery Agency,” says ARA through lawyer Mohamed Adow.

The move by ARA comes after it obtained orders in June stopping the three companies from dealing or transferring the funds held in three bank accounts at Equity and Standard Chartered Bank.

“Preservation orders are hereby issued prohibiting the respondent (the three entities) and or their agents or representatives from dealing, transferring, withdrawing or in any other manner in respect of funds held in the name of the respondents,” ordered Justice James Wakiaga.

The court ordered the preservation of Sh3.6 million held in account name Active Electrons Africa Limited and Sh718,024 held in the account name of First Supplies held at Standard Chartered Bank while Sh2.9 million is held in name of Ameritrade Limited at Equity Bank Limited.

Justice Wakiaga further ordered that the funds so preserved be deposited in the Asset Recovery Agency account held at Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd, KICC branch.

The orders to freeze the monies came after the government through Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) revealed to the Anti-Corruption Court that the funds held in the three accounts are proceeds of crime.

Massive fraud

The ARA says that the application for forfeiture is premised on the investigations conducted by DCI into the theft and fraud of public funds amounting to Sh467,896,993 from NYS a state department in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender which revealed massive fraud and embezzlement of public funds perpetuated by public officials and private persons some of who are facing corruption charges before Milimani Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate’s Court.

Nderitu and his estranged wife, Yvonne Wanjiku Ngugi, are among dozens of civil servants and business people who have been charged with loss of hundreds of millions of shillings at the NYS through fictitious invoices for goods such as firewood and stationery and multiple payments on one supplier invoice. 

ARA investigator Corporal Isaac Nakitare in an affidavit filed in court says that the bank accounts of Thuita’s firms were used as conduits for money laundering.

 “Investigations have revealed that the cash deposits were unlawfully acquired, hence proceeds of crime,” says Nakitare.

Holistic development

He added that the entities are associated with one Thuita James Nderitu and were used to embezzle funds from the confers of NYS.

Adow also claims that investigations conducted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on the suspects and firms involved in the NYS scam revealed that massive schemes of embezzlement of public funds, fraud and money laundering rendered the funds proceeds of crime liable for forfeiture.

The lawyer also says that further Investigations established that the funds were stolen and or fraudulently transferred from the NYS to various suppliers bank accounts who fictitiously supplied goods and services that were not rendered to the NYS.

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