Assets of ex Kenya ferries boss frozen

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – Former Kenya Ferry Services managing director John Ria’s multi-million property and over 10 bank accounts have now been frozen by the courts following an application by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.

The order issued on Friday by the High Court in Mombasa will remain in force for the next six months.

The KACC wants to investigate whether the property was acquired illegally.

“We suspect they are proceeds of corruption or have otherwise been acquired illegally and as a result of corrupt conduct,” court documents state.

The property includes five vehicles, 12 plots at the Coast and 14 accounts with several banks. 

Under the order, Mr Ria cannot sell, lease, charge, mortgage, develop, subdivide or engage in any dealing with the property or accounts.

The order is copied to six banks, several associate companies and listed business partners who are named as respondents.

Mr Ria was sent on compulsory leave over a year ago to pave way for investigations into alleged misuse of funds at the KFS. The parastatal was riddled with claims of financial impropriety and inefficiency with ferry services interrupted frequently.  The KFS has perennially been rocked by commuter complaints about frequent breakdowns and delays due to lack of servicing.

Isaac Kamau was appointed acting managing director before Musa Hassan was appointed the new manager.

Previous reports indicate that several issues have been raised in the past touching on procurement at the firm.

Although two new ferries were to be bought from a German firm, Schiff Bau, since 2004, controversy has dogged the tendering process, delaying the purchase. Their arrival was postponed severally but arrived last month.

They are expected to beef up the current fleet of Mv Harambee, Mv Pwani, Mv Kilindini, Mv Nyayo, Mv Mvita and Mv Mtongwe II.  Ferry services at Likoni Mombasa are the only link to the South Coast.

It serves local residents going to work and those heading to Tanzania and beyond through the Lunga Lunga border.