Asset recovery agency has stepped up to recover ksh.385 Million from Ali Abdi Ibrahim, Mandera businessman suspected to have siphoned the funds from County government of Mandera.

In submissions filed before the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court, ARA claimed that Ali Abdi Ibrahim had failed to explain the source of the Kshs.385 million held in his two bank accounts. The agency said that investigations revealed that the money was acquired from three companies that traded with Mandera County Government.

Representing the agency, State Counsel Jennifer Gitiri told the court that an analysis of Ibrahim’s bank accounts showed a systematic pattern of money laundering, where some of the amounts were deposited in cash while others were wired from other banks.

Saying that the businessman had failed to explain suspicious cash transaction in his bank accounts, the State Counsel told the court that the funds must be forfeited to the State.

According to the agency, the huge amounts are suspected to have been stolen from the county government of Mandera and deposited to Ibrahim’s accounts to conceal the source and were being deposited by unknown people.

The agency further said that some of the cash deposits were made in transactions of below one million shillings to avoid raising suspicion of the anti-fraud agents. The State Counsel further told the court that records at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) revealed that the businessman did not pay any taxes to prove he was trading with the county government.

While the businessman defended himself by saying that he was sub-contracted by other companies to do construction work, the agency submitted to the court that he had not provided evidence to substantiate his claims. Accordingly, the Agency submitted that it had only one conclusion, that the funds were “proceeds of crime”, and that his defence was “baseless and lies meant to hoodwink the court.”

The ARA is established under section 53 of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) which mandates it with identifying, tracing, freezing and recovering proceeds of crime.

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