EACC eyes Sh192m assets from ex-KRA staff


The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A former tax enforcement officer at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been accused of amassing properties worth Sh192 million from corrupt dealings during a seven-year period when he earned Sh11.6 million in net salary.

Jeremiah Kamau Kinyua, who resigned from the KRA in March this year, allegedly acquired a total of 19 parcels of land and homes, most of them in Ruiru in Kiambu, one in Laikipia County and one in Nairobi.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) says in a petition certified as urgent that its sleuths seized more than Sh1 million from Mr Kinyua’s home early this year. The seized money was in Kenya shillings, Chinese currency and UAE Dirham.

The court heard that the commission was investigating allegations of bribery suspected to have been committed while Mr Kinyua was working for the KRA.

The freeze is the latest move by the anti-graft body and the KRA to fight suspected corruption cartels and tax cheats denying the taxman revenues. Last year, some 40 employees of the KRA were arrested over claims of acting in cahoots with tax evaders to deny the government revenue.

But the former employees are yet to be charged.

They moved to the High Court and were ordered to deposit cash bail of Sh200,000 to secure their release.

On Thursday, the EACC obtained orders barring Mr Kinyua from selling or transferring the properties for a period of six months to allow the commission to complete investigations.

Justice Esther Maina also directed Mr Kinyua to hand over a logbook to a vehicle he owns to the EACC within seven days. Some of the assets have been registered under the name of his spouse and two companies -- Cherya Enterprises Ltd and Bestline Enterprises Ltd.

“The applicant’s preliminary investigations have found a huge disproportion between the value of the 1st respondent’s assets and his known legitimate source of income and reasonably suspects that the 1st respondent has engaged in corruption and economic crime as a result of which he has unexplained assets totaling to approximately Sh192 million,” the EACC said in the application.

Court documents show that Mr Kinyua was employed at the KRA as a graduate trainee on January 28, 2005.

He was promoted to a supervisor, domestic taxes department, where he worked until he resigned in March this year.

His net salary between 2012 and 2021 was Sh11.6 million, according to the EACC.

But in just seven years, he acquired the 19 parcels of land in Ruiru, Kiambu County, Laikipia and Nairobi.

The parcels have been registered in his name, that of his spouse and a company that belongs to them. He also acquired a motor vehicle in the name of one of the companies.

The anti-graft agency moved to court arguing that he might dispose of the properties or transfer them unless stopped by the court. It says it is planning to file a petition to recover the properties.

“Consequently, the intended civil recovery proceedings will be rendered nugatory if the assets reasonably suspected to constitute the proceeds of corruption and economic crimes are allowed to dissipate,” the EACC says.

The EACC argues that the case will consume considerable amount of time given the number of assets and funds involved, multiple transactions in it and possible numerous illegal acts or offences involved.