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Anti-money laundering agency gets new head

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has picked an Office of the President man to head the Financial Reporting Centre.

Saitoti Kimerei Maika, a senior adviser in the Interior ministry, has been nominated as director- general of the agency set up in 2012 to combat money laundering and arrest illicit financial flows.

The National Assembly’s departmental committee on finance and trade is set to hold a confirmation hearing Tuesday to vet Mr Maika’s fitness.

“The committee now invites interested members of the public to submit any representations by written statement on oath (affidavit), that they may have on the suitability or otherwise of the said nominee,” the lawmakers said in a notice.

If successful, he will get a four-year term renewable once, as per the law.

The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (2009) empowers FRC to receive, analyse and interpret reports of usual or suspicious transactions in Kenya’s banking system.

Jackson Kitili, an executive from the Central Bank of Kenya, has been heading FRC on an interim basis, pending recruitment of a substantive boss.

Mr Maika, 47, holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Technical University of Kenya and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the same field at the University of Nairobi.

He also holds a diploma in strategic and security studies from UoN.

He previously worked as a principal policy analyst at the Interior ministry before becoming a senior aide.

All financial institutions including banks, insurance companies and saccos are required to file daily reports on crimes such as money laundering, terrorism financing, proceeds of crime such as piracy, organised crime, bribery and all suspected illicit cash flows to FRC.

Bank executives and persons who are convicted for handling illicit cash face a Sh1 million fine and a three-year jail term while institutions including banks, credit unions facilitating such deals are slapped with a Sh5 million fine on conviction.