The High Court on Wednesday last week ruled that monies held in bank accounts operated by Mandera County Government Agriculture Department director Abdi Mohamed Ali and his wife Saadia Sheikh Osman were proceeds of crime
Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the couple failed to demonstrate how they acquired the Sh62 million.
“A declaration be and is hereby issued that the funds held in the two bank accounts at Equity Bank are proceeds of crime and liable for forfeiture to the government,” declared judge Ngugi.
The said money is Sh40, 806,532 held at Mandera Equity Bank, Mandera branch in the name of Abdi Mohamed Ali and Sh21,448, 100 bank account held at Equity Bank Mandera branch in the name of Abdi Mohamed Ali and Saadia Sheikh Osman.
The judge in her decision allowed all orders sought by the Asset Recovery Agency after arguing that the funds were proceeds of crime.
Judge Mumbi noted that the process of civil forfeiture is not dependent on the outcome of Criminal Prosecution or investigations.
“It is therefore my findings and I so hold that there is no violation of the provisions of Article 50(2) (a),” Judge said in her decision.
“Having considered the respondents’ pleadings and documents in support of their case, I am constrained to find that they have been unable to place before the court any evidence that shows a legitimate source of the funds in the accounts.
The Judge dismissed claims that the man was a livestock trader and also engaged in bee farming, saying that there was nothing to support the claims.
“The only conclusion that can be arrived is that the funds are proceeds of crime as defined in Pocamla and are therefore liable to forfeiture to the state,” the Judge said.
Asset Recovery Agency
In April 2021, Asset Recovery Agency gazetted an order prohibiting the couple from withdrawing or transferring the money.
On a gazette notice No. 2838 under the proceeds of crime and Anti-Money Laundering act, the agency director gave notice to Abdi Mohamed Ali and Saadia Sheikh Osman that the high court issued preservation in Nairobi Miscellaneous Application No. 11 of 2020 barring them from transferring or withdrawing the money in question for a period of six months.
“A preservation order is hereby issued prohibiting Abdi Mohamed Ali and Saadia Sheikh Osman representatives, employees, agents, servants or any other persons acting on their behalf from transacting, withdrawing, transferring or dealing in any manner howsoever in respect of funds held in the two accounts for a period of sixty six days from today. ” Ordered judge Lessit.
Sergeant Fredrick Musyoki, an investigator with the agency said on the February 20, 2020 they received information that the two accounts were suspected to hold money which is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Both accounts are held are at Equity Bank Mandera Branch.
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