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Economy

State seeks to seize Sh33m from ex-PS

 Lillian Omollo.
Former PS Lillian Omollo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has urged the High Court to allow the government confiscate about Sh33 million belonging to former Youth and Gender PS Lillian Omollo, saying the money was obtained from illegitimate sources.

The agency, through senior State counsel Mohamed Adow, said seizing suspect funds would deprive criminals of the ill-gotten gains, deter and prevent crime.

“The investigations established that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the cash in issue is part of the funds stolen from the National Youth Service and the respondents have not given reasonable explanation to prove any legitimate source of the same,” he said in submissions filed in court.

The agency said an analysis of the accounts opening forms and statements of accounts belonging to the ex-PS and her firms found massive suspicious cash deposits, withdrawals and transfers to accounts within the same banks and other lenders.

Mr Adow said the investigations further established that the deposits were mainly made in tranches below Sh1 million to evade the Central Bank of Kenya reporting threshold and prudential guidelines.

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Mr Adow said Ms Omollo made various suspicious deposits on the same dates in different bank accounts with the objective of avoiding provisions of the law and regulations.

The former PS maintains that no money was lost under her watch and the ARA has tabled nothing to prove claims that the money, which have since been frozen, are proceeds of crime.

“Upon the respondents’ denial of any theft of public funds at NYS, the applicant was obligated to call evidence showing theft or transfer of public funds from NYS accounts by ordinarily producing financial banking records,” she said in the court documents.

But the agency said it had proved that the funds in the said accounts were from illegitimate sources, having been deposited into the accounts with the sole intention of laundering the same.

The accounts frozen include six bank accounts at Equity Bank registered in the names of Lilian Muthoni Mbogo which had $67,331.90.

Other accounts in the name of LIDI Estates Ltd had $28,981, another account in the same bank and the same name had Sh2.29 million and another with $8,979.83, among others.

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