A Mandera businessman has lost Sh43.5 million, fund suspected to have been stolen from Mandera County government through fictitious contracts after the High Court Anti-Corruption Court ruled that the funds were proceeds of crime.
Anti-Corruption High Court Judge Esther Maina said Ali Abdi Ibrahim failed to explain the source of the millions yet there was evidence that much of it was from the county government.
“That Sh. 39,647,426 held in Equity Bank Mandera Branch Account in the name of Ali Abdi Ibrahim is proceeds of Crime and hereby forfeited to the state and Sh. 3,857,943 in Equity Bank Mandera Branch Account in the name of Ali Abdi Ibrahim is proceeds of Crime and hereby forfeited to the state”, Judge Maina ruled.
The court ordered that the millions in the said accounts shall be transferred to the Assets Recovery Agency at Kenya Commercial Bank KICC branch.
The High Court Anti-Corruption Judge said that she was not persuaded that an order of forfeiture is a violation of Ibrahim’s right to property guaranteed in Article 49 of the Constitution and that the investigations were carried out by a police officer is also in my view immaterial.
“Accordingly, the application dated July 23,2020 succeeds, and I enter judgement for the application against the Ali Abdi Ibrahim”, said the Judge in her decision.
An analysis by Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) showed that two of the accounts held at Equity Bank, Mandera branch, belonging to Ibrahim, received a total of Sh124,750,000 from the various companies, which were being investigated.
The funds were later withdrawn or transferred to other accounts in a scheme of money laundering.
The accounts were frozen in April 2020. ARA flagged them down saying they suspect that the man was laundering money.
Court issued orders freezing about Sh43.5 million belonging to Ali, suspected to be funds stolen from Mandera county government.
Justice Daniel Ogembo who was handling the case then issued the orders following an application by Assets Recovery Agency (ARA). The agency filed the application suspecting that the funds were paid by companies being investigated for receiving fraudulent payments from the Mandera county government.
An analysis by ARA showed that two of the accounts held at Equity Bank, Mandera branch, belonging to Ali Abdi Ibrahim, received a total of Sh124,750,000 from the various companies under investigations. The funds were later withdrawn or transferred to other accounts in a scheme of money laundering.
Between 2014 and 2020, Ibrahim allegedly made suspicious cash withdrawals and transfers in split transactions to evade the reporting threshold.
Justice Ogembo granted the orders stopping the withdrawal or transfer of the funds in the two accounts, pending the hearing of the case. One of the accounts hold Sh39.6 million while the other has Sh3.8 million.
“The bank accounts received suspicious huge cash deposits in Kenya shillings and the funds are suspected to be stolen and or fraudulently acquired from Mandera County Government by the Respondent, his agents or representatives and deceitfully deposited and transferred from the above accounts,” reads an affidavit of Fredrick Musyoki
The officer said investigations revealed that the cash deposits were unlawfully acquired hence proceeds of crime or that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accounts are used as conduits of money laundering.
The officer had on March 20 obtained an order from a magistrate to investigate the two accounts. Musyoki said he later discovered that the payments were made by about seven companies being investigated for receiving funds from Mandera county government.