Economy

Mother of NYS scam suspect loses Sh97.6 million to the State

Ben-Gethi

Businessman Ben Gethi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The mother of a suspect facing charges over the loss of funds at the National Youth Service (NYS) suffered a setback yesterday after the High Court ordered Sh97.6 million in her accounts forfeited to the State.
  • Charity Wangui Gethi, the mother of Ben Gethi, lost the money after Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the money in four accounts was proceeds of crime.

The mother of a suspect facing charges over the loss of funds at the National Youth Service (NYS) suffered a setback on Thursday after the High Court ordered Sh97.6 million in her accounts forfeited to the State.

Charity Wangui Gethi, the mother of Ben Gethi, lost the money after Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the money in four accounts was proceeds of crime.

Mr Gethi is facing charges over the loss of Sh791 million at the NYS. Court documents show that Sh87.7 million was in Ms Gethi’s accounts and Sh10 million in Samuel Mdanyi Wachenje’s alias Sam Mwadime account. Mr Mwadime is a former employee of NYS and the funds were siphoned from the agency between 2014 and 2015.

Ms Gethi had defended the funds saying she earned the money from her business entities, but the court said the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) had proved that the funds moved from NYS prime suspect Josephine Kabura Irungu, to Ms Gethi’s business associates then to some law firms and eventually to her accounts.

“It would also be quite a strange coincidence that on the same dates and in the same branch of the same bank, that funds were moving from Josephine Kabura Irungu’s business entities, then the same quantity of funds were being deposited in the accounts,” the judge said.

She said ARA had established on a balance or probabilities that the funds in the four accounts were proceeds of crime.

“Having so found, then the only recourse to the court is to find that as proceeds of crime, they are liable to forfeiture to the State,” justice Ngugi said while dismissed Ms Gethi’s defence that since she has not been convicted in relation to the NYS theft, then the funds were from genuine business.

The money was in four accounts, including Sh79.6 million in Ms Gethi’s account at Faulu Bank and in her name, Sh10 million at Family Bank in Mr Mwadime’s name, a further Sh7.8 million at Standard Chartered and another Sh204,000 at Old Mutual, both in Ms Gethi’s name.

ARA through its director Muthoni Kimani said the funds were siphoned from the NYS through payments to three companies associated with Ms Kabura. The companies are Form Home builders, Roof and All Trading and Reinforced Concrete Technology.

Evidence presented in court showed that Home builders was paid Sh218 million between December 22, 2014 and January 21, 2015; Roof and All Trading received Sh252 million between February 5, 2015 and March 27, 2015 while Reinforced Concrete was paid Sh320 million between February 5, 2015 and March 31, 2015. The court also heard that Ms Kabura’s companies were registered in a span of two days and after receiving the funds, they were transferred to different accounts.