The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is relentlessly seeking to recover public funds lost through the infamous National Youth Service (NYS) scandal by going after the wealth of beneficiary suspects.
The agency has once again moved to court for forfeiture of further Kshs.7.3 million belonging to businessman, James Nderitu Thuita. The agency has gone after the suspect, who is currently facing charges in connection with the loss of funds at the NYS. The businessman is alleged to have received more than Kshs.1.6 billion from NYS. Last year, the businessman lost Kshs.35 million, after the agency successfully applied to the High Court to recover the funds. The court ruled that the money was unexplained wealth.
The money is suspected to be part of Kshs.467 million stolen from the NYS in 2017 through an elaborate scam involving supplies allegedly made to the national agency.
The assets recovery agency moved to court to recover the funds, which is held in three bank accounts registered in the names of Active Electrons Africa Ltd, First Supplies, and Ameritrade Ltd, all linked to James Nderitu Thuita. The companies are suspected to have been used to embezzle funds from the coffers of the National Youth Service.
The forfeitures have netted in other culprits. In 2020, three members of one family, the Ngiritas were also ordered to forfeit to the State property worth millions of shillings they acquired using public funds stolen from the NYS, in what was described as a get-rich-quick strategy which involved defrauding the public coffers. Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that those who profit from proceeds of crime should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits.
The scandal was unveiled following investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), following blatant theft of public funds from NYS in a scheme which shocked the nation.
The NYS scandal which rocked the nation in its magnitude, was also investigated by the powerful Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).