Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has obtained orders freezing Sh37.3 million belonging to four employees of the Treasury suspected to have been stolen from the government in the guise of allowances and facilitation fees.
The freezing of the funds in several accounts Robert Theuri Murage, Faith Kiptis, Esther Ngeru and Doris Simiyu now brings to Sh55 million the total amount preserved by the High Court, pending conclusion of investigations.
Last month, the court ordered the preservation of Sh18 million belonging to Tracy Njoki King’e for six months to allow the anti-graft body conclude a probe on whether the funds were stolen from the government.
Ms Ngeru is an internal auditor at the Treasury, earning a salary of Sh188,000. The anti-graft body says that she received Sh53 million as imprests, facilitation and extraneous allowance between January 2020 and June this year.
The EACC says she has been making withdrawals from her Mpesa in batches of Sh100,000 and Sh50,000 and cheque withdrawals leaving a balance of Sh8.5 million.
Ms Kiptis has allegedly received Sh79.5 million for similar allowances between the same period. She has balance of Sh8.7 million in her MPesa and another Sh7 million in two bank accounts.
Ms Simiyu, an accountant allegedly received Sh20 million for imprest, facilitation and extraneous allowance between January 2020 and June this year. She has a balance of Sh8.9 million by the time the freeze order was issued.
As for Mr Murage, the EACC says he received Sh24.7 million and withdrew the money leaving a balance of Sh11 million.
“Consequently, the intended civil recovery proceedings will be rendered nugatory if the funds reasonably suspected to constitute proceeds of corruption and economic crimes are allowed to dissipate,” EACC Dorothy Mnjala said.
The investigator said preliminary findings raised suspicion that considering their salaries, the credits into their bank accounts were disproportionate with the known sources of income, hence the money could have been obtained through corrupt conduct.
“It is reasonably suspected that the credit deposits are proceeds of crime which are public funds, which monies is amenable to forfeiture to the state,” the petition stated.