Court orders trader accused of smuggling goods to forfeit Sh43m
A Nakuru businessman accused of smuggling uncustomed goods has suffered a major blow after the Anti-Corruption High Court forfeited more than Sh43 million held in his bank accounts to the State.
In a lengthy judgement Justice James Wakiaga declared the said Sh43,122,454 belonging to businessman Joseph Kamau held at his Equity Bank accounts were acquired through proceeds of crime.
“l am satisfied that the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has proved based on the evidence that the funds held in Kamau’s bank accounts in the absence of any rebuttable evidence to the contrary are proceeds of crime and therefore, reliable for forfeiture to the State,” rule Wakiaga.
The judge forfeited the monies after Kamau failed to show the legitimate source of the funds deposited in his Equity Bank accounts in the years 2014- 2019.
Wakiaga further directed that the forfeited monies be deposited in the account of Assets Recovery Agency held at Kenya Commercial Bank at KICC branch.
The decision comes after ARA filed an application seeking to forfeit Kamau’s money held in his bank accounts saying they were proceeds of crime.
The agency further said Kamau failed to explain his source of funds and after their investigations it was established that the said funds were not legitimate.
While responding to ARA’s case, Kamau informed the court that he was a registered businessman in Nakuru trading as Tifphat Transporters and that he was a registered owner of three motor vehicles jointly owned with Equity Bank Limited as the financier for the use in his transportation and cereal business.
The ARA investigating officer Sergeant Fredrick Musyoki told the court that they received information and conducted investigations which established that on October 26, 2019, Kamau’s three motor vehicles were impounded smuggling 390 cartons of cigarette from Uganda worth Sh9,750,000 which had been concealed in a disguised place customized for smuggling goods.
Kamau has since been charged jointly with another for two offences of smuggling goods and importation of restricted goods contrary to East Africa Community Customs Management act 2004 before Eldoret chief Magistrate Court.