EACC wants former KRA staff to forfeit Sh278m


Integrity Centre that hosts Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) wants a former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) supervisor compelled to forfeit property worth Sh278 million to the State, saying he acquired them through bribes.

The anti-graft agency says in court documents that Jeremiah Kamau Kinyua, who resigned from the KRA in March last year, amassed the properties through corrupt dealings in seven-year period during which his net salary was Sh11.6 million.

The properties targeted include 18 parcels of land and homes in Nairobi, Ruiru in Kiambu, Laikipia and Kitegela in Kajiado. The commission is also targeting two vehicles valued at Sh10 million. The properties are valued at Sh181 million and money in the accounts and M-Pesa total to Sh91.6 million.

“Investigations revealed that the 1st Respondent received huge and successive cash deposits in his various bank accounts which he could not satisfactorily demonstrate the source and therefore the Commission reasonably suspects that the same were bribes,” the EACC said in the petition.

The EACC initially targeted property worth Sh359.5 million from Mr Kinyua and companies linked to him but after investigations, the commission said he was able to explain how he acquired some of the wealth.

Officers from EACC raided Mr Kinyua’s home early last year and seized more than Sh1 million in Kenya shillings, Chinese currency and UAE Dirham, which should also be forfeited to the government.

Some of the assets have been registered under his name and two companies -- Cherya Enterprises Ltd and Bestline Enterprises Ltd. The money that passed through his accounts and M-Pesa amounted to Sh174 million while Cherya Enterprises and Bestline received Sh18 million and 167 million, respectively.

The commission said Mr Kinyua was the ultimate beneficiary of the funds acquired as a result of abuse of office and unethical conduct and that the circuitous transfer of funds was intended to conceal its illegitimate sources.

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 last 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 commission says Mr Kinyua received huge and successive cash deposits to his bank accounts and M-Pesa messages, which he failed to satisfactorily demonstrate the source, leading to the conclusion that the money was bribes obtained while in office.

“In the alternative, the commission is seeking through the suit that where the said assets have been wasted or otherwise unavailable for forfeiture, an order for payment of the assets’ equivalent in monetary value be made to the government,” the anti-graft body said.

Justice Esther Maina extended orders barring Mr Kinyua from dealing with properties, pending further directions on May 26.

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