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Now agency wants Omollo’s Sh33m in banks confiscated

Thursday December 05 2019
By SAM KIPLAGAT

The Assets Recovery Agency has urged the High Court to allow the government to confiscate about Sh33 million belonging to former Youth and Gender PS Lilian Omollo, saying the money was obtained from illegitimate sources.

SUSPICIOUS DEPOSITS

The agency,through senior state counsel Mohamed Adow, said confiscating suspect funds would deprive criminals of ill-gotten gains, deter and prevent crime. Mr Adow said the move would be an effective and justifiable way of recovering the proceeds of crimes such as looting of public funds.

In submissions filed in court, the agency said an analysis of the account-opening forms and statements of accounts belonging to the former PS and her companies established that there were massive suspicious cash deposits, withdrawals and intra and inter- transfers to accounts within the same and other banks.

The senior state counsel said investigations further established that the deposits were mainly made in tranches below Sh1 million to evade the reporting threshold and prudential guidelines set by the Central Bank of Kenya.

FROZEN ACCOUNTS

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Mr Adow said Ms Omollo made various suspicious deposits on the same dates in different bank accounts with the objective of circumventing provisions of the law and regulations.

“The investigations established that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the cash in issue is part of the funds stolen from the National Youth Service and the respondents have not given reasonable explanation to prove any legitimate source of the same,” he said.

Ms Omollo has maintained that no money was lost under her watch and ARA has tabled nothing to prove claims that the monies, which have since been frozen, are proceeds of crime.

ILLEGITIMATE SOURCES

“Upon the respondents’ denial of any theft of public funds at NYS, the applicant was obligated to call evidence showing theft or transfer of public funds from NYS accounts by ordinarily producing financial banking records,” she said in the court documents.

But ARA said it has proved that the funds in the said accounts are from illegitimate sources, having being deposited into the accounts with the sole intention of laundering the same.

The agency said the thread of transaction showing the deposits of funds and the involvement of Ms Omollo forms a pattern of transaction that depicts the substantial involvements and her interests in the funds sought to be forfeited.

SIX ACCOUNTS

The accounts frozen include six bank accounts at Equity Bank registered in the names of Lilian Muthoni Mbogo which had USD67,331.9, an account in the name of LIDI Estates Ltd which had USD 28,981, another account in the same bank and the same name and which had Sh2,297,495 and another with USD 8,979.83.

Another account at Equity in Ms Omollo’s name had Sh1.68 million, while another account registered trading as Sahara Consultants held at Diamond Trust Bank had Sh5.65 million and three accounts registered in her children’s names had more than Sh11 million.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed the case to be heard on January 20.

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