The Assets Recovery Agency has obtained a freeze order from the High Court, for bank accounts linked to James Nderitu Thuita, a businessman, who is suspected to have received Ksh.1.61 billion from NYS.
The agency had applied to the High Court to have Mr. Thuita’s funds frozen on account of them being proceeds of crime. ARA added that there was imminent danger of Mr. Thuita disposing, transferring or dissipating the said funds as there were no court orders in place preserving the funds. The funds were held in three different bank accounts with two Standard Chartered Bank accounts holding a total of Kshs.4.3 million and an Equity bank with Ksh.2.9 million. The Standard Chartered Bank accounts were registered in the names of Active Electrons Africa ltd and First Supplies while the Equity account was under Ameritrade ltd, all linked to Mr. Thuita.
Thuita and his firms received Kshs. 1.61 billion from the NYS in the 11 months to November 2017, but only Kshs. 33.8 million was left in the Standard Chartered Bank and Equity Bank accounts as at September 7, 2018, when ARA obtained court orders to freeze the accounts.
Thuita is among dozens of public officials and business people who have been charged with loss of millions at the NYS through fictitious invoices for goods such as firewood and stationery and multiple payments on one supplier invoice. These suspects failed to provide evidence to show how the funds from NYS were received in their bank accounts hence the conclusion that the funds are proceeds of crime and liable to forfeiture.
Lately, the country has witnessed numerous forfeitures by ARA and EACC through court orders. Anti –graft agencies have been seen working tirelessly to repossess public funds that have been stolen by public officials and businessmen among other perpetrators. Notably, they have exploited the Anti-Corruption and Economic Act of 2003 (ACECA) especially the use of unexplained wealth orders to net ill-gotten wealth thus boosting the war on graft. Citizens should be warned that corrupt individuals will no longer walk scot-free thinking the law will not catch up with them. The price is too high to pay.