Drug trafficking suspect loses wealth to State
A business woman accused of drug trafficking yesterday suffered a blow after the Anti-Corruption Court forfeited her Sh1.7 million and six motor vehicles to the State.
In her lengthy Judgment, Justice Mumbi Ngugi declared that the said properties belonging to businesswoman, Rose Musanda, were acquired through proceeds of crime.
“It is my finding that the applicant; Assets Recovery Agency has established, on a balance of probabilities that the motor vehicles and funds the subject of this application are proceeds of crime, and that they should be forfeited to the State,” ordered Mumbi.
Judge said the properties were forfeited after Musanda failed to show a legitimate source of the funds deposited in her two accounts held at Sidian Bank and Diamond Trust Bank Madina Mall Branch in the 2015-2018 period.
Money to be forfeited to the government is Sh1,462,963.47 being held at Sidian Bank Kangemi Branch while another Sh325,712.45 is being held at Diamond Trust Bank, Madina Mall Branch under her name.
The six vehicles are her saloon car KCM 465 X Toyota Axio, KCR 297A Isuzu bus coach, KBT 692W Isuzu bus coach, KCC 646D Isuzu bus coach, KBY 184H Isuzu bus coach and KCH 179N bus coach.
ARA through advocate Mohamed Adow says the deposits in Musanda’s bank accounts were from the illegal narcotic trade that she engaged in.
Musanda had put up a spirited fight to save the money and the motor vehicles that were frozen through an application by ARA.
She argued that the money was from the sale of her plot in Kakamega county, some Sh500,000 that she inherited from her late husband and that the rest was part of her daily income from her matatu and second-hand clothes businesses.
In her ruling, Justice Mumbi said that despite Musanda, being an owner of at least six bus coaches and a vendor of second hand clothes, had not placed any documents that can establish the earnings from her businesses.
The application by the ARA to recover the said assets came after the businesswoman was charged at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport court on June 17, 2019 with trafficking narcotics. She is charged alongside her daughters and son-in-law.
Officers searched her home in Kinoo, Kiambu county and recovered Sh25 million and an unknown substance, which was sent to the Government Chemist for sampling, weighting, valuation and analysis. The substance was found to contain heroin at 40 per cent purity.
On June 16, last year, the agency received information that Musanda acquired massive properties using the proceeds obtained from the illegitimate trade of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance.
Investigations have established that the businesswoman acquired massive properties using proceeds from illegitimate trade in narcotic drugs and registered under her name and in the name of her proxies so as to conceal and disguise the source of funds used to procure the said assets.
The agency further established that the assets, properties and funds in the above accounts were unlawfully acquired hence proceeds of crime.
Affidavit by agency investigator corporal Fredrick Muriuki, revealed that his analysis of the accounts statements established that there were massive suspicion of cash deposits and both bank accounts received suspicious huge sums of cash and cheque deposits that indicate activities of money laundering.
The transactions were made in tranches below Sh1 million to beat the reporting threshold as per Central Bank prudential guidelines for any account holder to declare source of the money.