ARA’s bid to retain order on seizure
The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has urged the High court to dismiss appeal seeking to set aside orders on seizure of assets belonging to a suspected drug trafficker.
ARA wants the court to reject the request by Wilma and Sons Company firm, saying no evidence has been placed before to cause a review of forfeiture orders issued in September last year by Justice Mumbi Ngugi.
The Judge had ordered suspected drug dealer, Rose Musanda and her two proxies; Thomas Odhiambo and Margaret Wambui to forfeit five Isuzu passenger buses valued at Sh25 million and Sh3.5 million cash in her accounts for being wealth acquired through drug trafficking.
“The court is satisfied that her assets are proceeds from the illegitimate narcotics trade, which she used to open a matatu business to disguise the sources of her funds.
Having obtained the assets from proceeds of crime, they are liable for forfeiture to the State,” ruled Ngugi.
Although two vehicles had been registered in the names of Odhiambo Konduti and Margaret Wambui Mugo, Justice Ngugi ruled that all the vehicles were just her proxies to conceal her illegal business.
But Wilma and Sons Company has since filed an application in court seeking to have the decision of Ngugi and any orders set aside and the case reinstated.
The company is also seeking an order to have the court declare that the company is not a proxy of Musanda, and therefore motor vehicle KCC 646D is not an asset or property to Musanda.
The company says it is the registered owner of one of the buses forfeited to the State. It seeks to be granted an opportunity to be heard.
The said vehicle was being used by the company to generate income as a public service vehicle.
“We, therefore seek for release of the said motor vehicle to enable it return to work to enable it continue generating income for the employees,” reads the court papers.
Firm director, William Githini, says he has been in quiet possession of the motor vehicle since the date it was purchased and he has been utilising it as a PSV until around September, 2020 when it was seized.
But the Agency says the application lacks merit and ought to be dismissed.
Agency says for the court to grant orders sought, the company must show there is sufficient cause and there must be apparent substantial loss.