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AG to file case to recover Anglo Leasing billions

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – The government is this week moving to court in a bid to recover Sh3.8 billion irregularly paid out to businessman Deepak Kamani and associated proxy companies in five Anglo Leasing related contracts.

Sources at the office of the Attorney General say the case will be filed at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi by Wednesday.

“The AG’s office will seek recovery of the money based on documents received from Swiss authorities following a mutual legal assistance request sent by the Kenyan government,” the authoritative source said.

The projects were for the Kenya Prisons, Administration Police telecommunication equipment, Kenya Police, Project Flagstaff and Meteorological project.

The move follows recent reports that the office of the Attorney General had revived investigations into the deals, after Githu Muigai took over as Attorney General in August last year.

Kenyan authorities have made several attempts to probe the matter in Switzerland and sent officers from the defunct Kenyan Anti Corruption Commission between 2004 and 2006 to question individuals suspected of involvement in the scandal that was said to cost the taxpayer a total of Sh7b.

The contracts to Kamani are said to involve the supply of security vehicles and spare parts to the Office of the President.

The company apparently arranged for an interest-free loan facility for the supply of the security vehicles, whose delivery would be done over eight years. The government was to repay the company over a period of over 10 years.

Kamani was a director of Kamsons which sold low technology Mahindra four-wheel drive vehicles from India to the Kenya Police.

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Some of the contracts awarded to Kamani that have been negotiated for cancellation and repayment include supply of the Forensic Laboratories for the CID, Immigration Security Equipment, E-Cops/Infotalent, security vehicles for the police, and modernisation of police equipment.

According to valuation reports prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the government paid the suppliers more than the value of work, goods, and services delivered under each of the contracts associated with Kamani.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Joseph Kinyua had, in a letter to the Attorney General and KACC director dated April 9, 2010 sought immediate recovery of the public funds.

Kinyua gave the AG at the time and the KACC director a summary of the status of each of the security-related contacts, and the proposed action to be taken to resolve the disputes.

In August 2004, the Treasury suspended payments due to 11 security related contracts in the Anglo Leasing saga following worries that the government was not receiving value for money.

Kamani has previously denied claims of corrupt dealings saying any transactions and payments were sanctioned, facilitated and approved by proper government officials.

Kamani has said he tendered for the contracts alongside other third parties and was awarded the work after due process.

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