Agency wants Rigathi Gachagua to forfeit millions to State
The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has filed an application seeking to have Sh200 million held in three bank accounts of Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua forfeited to the State.
Through lawyer Mohammed Adow, ARA wants the court to declare that Gachagua acquired the Sh200,773,228.3 through crime and looting of public funds.
“The court be pleased to issue an order declaring that the funds are proceeds of crime, and, therefore liable for forfeiture to the State,” argues ARA.
Funds at Rafiki Micro Finance Bank are held in three accounts, with one holding Sh165 million, a second account holds Sh35 million while the other holds Sh773,228. All the three are registered in the MP’s name.
A fourth account, holding Sh1,138,142, is registered in the name of Jenne Enterprises.
Documents filed in court showed the funds are suspected to be proceeds of crime because they are payments to companies associated with the legislator, and which emanated from a government agency.
In affidavits filed in court by investigating officer Fredrick Musyoki, the agency wants the money forfeited to the State on grounds that preliminary investigations have established that Gachagua and Jenne Enterprises Limited were involved in suspected complex scheme of money laundering involving several companies, which initially received funds from government ministries and agencies.
ARA argues that on March 30, it received information into suspected complex money laundering schemes and proceeds of crime involving public funds from the Lands Ministry (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme), State Department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Bungoma County government, Mathira Constituency Development Funds, Nyeri County government and National Irrigation Board.
“That investigations established that on diverse dates between 2013 and 2020, Gachagua’s three personal account conducted series of huge suspicious debit transactions amounting to Sh7,330,011,256 and total credit of Sh12,530,784,485 reasonably suspected to have been acquired from proceeds of crime,” says Musyoki.
Documents filed in court showed that within seven years, the MP received Sh5.8 billion, which included funds from companies or business entities providing services to ministries, State agencies and county governments.
Further, the agency claims that part of the suspect funds received from the government ministries and agencies and county governments were later transferred to two account numbers, which are fixed deposit accounts in his name with total Sh200,000,000 million at Rafiki Microfinance bank.
ARA argues that is apprehensive that unless the court intervenes, the MP shall illegitimately enjoy the economic advantage derived from the commission of the crimes and acquisition of proceeds of crime.
The application comes after in June this year the High court froze the monies held in the bank accounts for 90 days over the alleged money laundering schemes by the MP and business associate Jenne Enterprises limited.
“Preservation orders are hereby issued prohibiting Gachagua, his employees, agents, servants or any other person from transacting, withdrawing, transferring or dealing with Sh200,773,228.33 being held in his three bank accounts held at Rafiki Microfinance bank under his name,” ordered Justice Joseph Onyiego.
The accounts will remain frozen for 90 days pending the filing by ARA petition for forfeiture to the government.
The agency also reveals that Gachagua being a director or shareholder of various entities including Wanunyoro Supplies Limited, Specific supplies Limited, Crystal Kenya limited and Technical supplies services limited used the same entities to siphon public funds.
However, ARA claims that Anne Kimemia, trading as Jenne Enterprises limited made suspicious transactions of a complex money laundering scheme for several years from 2015 to 2020.
Agency says that investigations have further established that between the period 2015 and 2016, ENcartar Diagnostics Limited received funds reasonably suspected to be acquired from proceeds of crime totalling to Sh113,009,913 from the county governments of Kwale and Bungoma.