Police seek three more weeks to conclude NYS investigations

Devolution and Planning secretary Anne Waiguru. PHOTO | FILE
Devolution and Planning secretary Anne Waiguru. PHOTO | FILE  

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has asked for another three weeks to conclude investigations into the fraudulent dealings at the National Youth Service, which could have resulted in the theft of Sh695.4 million.

Devolution secretary Anne Waiguru told the Business Daily that the request was made last week.

The scandal that came to light in June saw Ms Waiguru and several senior NYS officials face a storm of accusations by Parliament with some MPs demanding that she step aside for investigations.

“The investigation is still ongoing. About a week ago they said they needed three more weeks, so we are waiting,” she said.

Hacking attempt

Asked if there were any suspects, she said, “I’m sure they do. If they said they will finish in three weeks, we’ll wait to see.”

Earlier in June, Ms Waiguru distanced herself from the shadowy dealings, saying that she was the one who asked for investigations to be carried out when she got wind of the scam.

Ms Waiguru said officials detected an attempt to hack into computers to make illegal payments of nearly Sh826 million through the government e-payment platform, Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS).

Payments of Sh133 million were later cleared by the detectives as legitimate.

Passwords used

IFMIS is a computer system that processes procurement and payment of goods and services bought by the government.

Investigators have since established that the passwords of key officials were used to make illegal entries into NYS computer systems.

Six computers were seized from NYS staff for scrutiny and six firms identified as fake suppliers.

Cybercrime detectives were called in to probe the breach where those involved generated payments to the six fake suppliers. 

In July, the minister said that suspects linked to the scam will be fired and prosecuted.

The scam has caused concern over the integrity of the IFMIS system and the leadership at the NYS whose budget for the current fiscal year was raised to Sh25 billion, well above some ministries’ budgets.