NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – Over 100 bank accounts of companies and suspects involved in the multi-million shilling National Youth Service (NYS) scam have been frozen.
A Nairobi Magistrate’s Court issued orders directing relevant bank managers to preserve all the funds in the accounts and any other that may have been subsequently deposited for a period of six months.
The court issued the freezing orders last Friday following an urgent application by Asset Recovery Agency Investigating Officer Frederick Musyoki.
The application was allowed after Musyoki explained to the court that if the orders sought are not granted, the suspects are likely to withdraw, transfer all funds in the bank accounts and frustrate the ongoing investigations for recovery of public money stolen.
“I pray for orders to investigate the above accounts to enable me access information and documents relating to the said accounts and use for purposes of investigations,” states Musyoki.
While agreeing to grant the order, the Magistrate’s Court on its part reckoned that “whereas it has been proved to me on oath that for the purpose of an investigation into the commission of offence of money laundering and tracing of proceeds, an order of production to inspect the books of accounts relating to the accounts should be and is hereby granted.”
Musyoki has been allowed to among other things, scrutinise the account opening documents, statement of accounts since their inception to date and investigate cheques, cash deposits and withdrawals made.
The agency swung into action upon receiving information that funds had been fraudulently stolen from the NYS following collusion of staff and suppliers.
According to ARA, the suppliers were paid through their accounts held in several different banks for services and goods not delivered.
It has gone on to say that an Inquiry file to investigate and inquire into the activities of the said accounts with regard to money laundering has been opened.
Among those frozen include Ann Ngirita’s bank account held at Unitas Sacco Microfinance Bank. Similar orders also affect her relatives bank accounts held at KCB and Stanbic Banks in the names of Ngirita Phyllis, Wambui Lucy and Jeremiah Gichini respectively.
Equity Bank has most of the bank accounts of people and firms that were involved in the scam numbering 26, followed closely by Cooperative Bank at 20, Standard Chartered 15, Barclays Bank eight, KCB Bank nine, while Family and National Banks have five each.