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Economy

High Court extends freeze on Sh468m NYS scam accounts

Lilian Mbogo Omollo
Former Youth PS Lilian Mbogo Omollo. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

The High Court has extended orders freezing dozens of accounts belonging to persons facing charges in relation to the Sh468 million loss at the National Youth Service.

Assets recovery Agency convinced Justice Jessie Lesiit to extend the orders freezing the accounts, among them several accounts belonging to former Youth PS Lilian Mbogo Omollo and her relatives.

Ms Jennifer Gitiri, an officer with the agency, told the court that they were yet to complete investigations into the scandal and the 90 days period granted in May, lapses on September 15.

She said the investigations are complex and involve so many persons, some of whom have been charged in court.

Other accounts named are Sheela W. Mbogo, Stephanie Marigu Mbogio and Shalom Malaika Kamweti, all related to Ms Mbogo.

“On analyzing the accounts, it is clear that the monies were deposited in cash, raising suspicion of possible money laundering and proceeds of crime,” she said in an affidavit.

Some 52 people among them Ms Omollo, former NYS Director General Richard Ndubai have denied charges of abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an economic crime and willful failure to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to public financial management.

In the sworn statement, Ms Gitiri said preliminary investigations revealed that close to Sh1 billion between January 2015 and May 2018 from NYS and channeled into various accounts, which were frozen.

She sought and was granted orders allowing Mr Fredrick Musyoki, an investigator to inspect the accounts opening statements, original cheques, RTGS instructions, mandate cards and any other relevant documents relating to the accounts named, from January 2015 to date.

“Investigations have established that the accounts under investigations have multiple transactions involving millions of shillings in various banks and entities, requiring further investigations to establish the money trail and trace the proceeds,” she said.

Among the accounts belonging to Ms Omollo are several banks accounts at Diamond Trust Bank registered in the name of Sahara Consultants and others at Equity Bank.

"I am satisfied from submissions made by the investigator that the prayers sought are justified for purposes of enabling investigations into funds held in the said accounts," Justice Lesiit said in the ruling.

Other accounts frozen belong to Firstling Supplies ltd whose directors are Kenneth Mwathi Mburu, James Thuita Nderitu and Yvonne Wanjiku. The three are accused of corruptly receiving Sh115.5 for goods not supplied.

Others are accounts belonging to Ersatz Enterprises, held at Consolidated Bank. The company’s directors- Ms Catherine Kamuyu and Sarah Murugu, allegedly received Sh26.6 million for goods not supplied.

Ms Gitiri said that the funds held in the accounts were likely to be transferred and it was in public interest for the monies to be preserved.

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