Smith & Ouzman called its bribes ‘chicken’, court told


Students in Eldoret sitting exams last October. Officials of British security printer Smith & Ouzman, which won contracts with the Kenya National Exams Council, are on trial in London for allegedly bribing foreign officials. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP | FILE

Kenyan agents arranging bribes for a British security printer used coded references to ‘chicken’ in their emails, a London court was told Tuesday.

According to reports in the Eastbourne Herald, the revelation came as the prosecution outlined its case against the firm’s officials.

Prosecutors said the agents used the code-word in emails about underhand cash deals with corrupt officials bribed to seal lucrative contracts between Smith & Ouzman Ltd and organisations such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya and the Kenya National Examination Council.

READ: Britons on trial for bribing Kenya exam council staff.

Officials of the printing firm are accused of paying £330,000 (Sh47 million) in bribes in Kenya and another £70,000 (Sh10 million) elsewhere in Africa.

Christopher Smith, 71, the company’s chairman is on trial alongside his son Nicholas Smith, 42, who was the sales and marketing director.

International sales manager, Tim Forrester, 47, and company agent, Abdirahman Omar, 38, are also implicated in the schemes to pay kickbacks to foreign officials.

Business Daily is publishing a multi-part series on the scandal that reveals who, indeed, ate the chicken at Kenya's electoral body...

STORY 1 of 3: UK court exposes bribery ring in Kenya’s poll agency.

STORY 2 of 3: Prosecutor, suspects spar over ‘chicken’ dished out to officials.

STORY 3 of 3: How local agent assisted graft syndicate to deliver cash bribes.

ALSO at the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec):

STORY 1 of 2: How Knec boss traded printing jobs for Sh700,000 annual kickback.

STORY 2 of 2: How UK sleuths unearthed Kenya ‘Chickengate’ scandal.

The trial continues at the Crown Court in Southwark, London.