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Kenya strikes deal to repatriate stolen millions stashed abroad

More than Sh380 million that was stashed abroad would be pumped back into the Kenyan economy after the government of Jersey struck a deal with the Kenyan authorities.

The agreement paving the way for the return of the money was signed March 3, this year between the two governments.

The agreement is the latest step taken by both governments to secure the return of the funds which were confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey in February 2016.

LAUNDERING

This is after defendant company Windward Trading Limited, associated with former Kenya Power Company boss Samuel Gichuru, pleaded guilty to four counts of laundering the proceeds of corruption.

The corrupt activities took place in Kenya and in May 2011, the United Kingdom issued a warrant of arrest against Mr Gichuru and former Nambale MP Chris Okemo over alleged corruption and money laundering.

The Attorney General of Jersey requested the extradition from Kenya of the two to face money laundering charges in Jersey in connection with Windward’s activities.

The extradition proceedings are still ongoing.

Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge, who signed the agreement on behalf of Kenya, on Tuesday said the government was happy for the progress so far made.

“We are delighted to reach agreement with the Government of Jersey on this important matter. We welcome the positive cooperation between Kenya and Jersey and look forward to an enhanced partnership in future,” Dr Thugge said.

TACKLE CRIMES

The Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst, who represented the government of Jersey, said the two countries will tackle finance related crimes without fear or favour.

“The signing of this agreement conveys a powerful message that both Jersey and Kenya are committed to combating issues of historic corruption and financial crime,” he said.

The process, they observed, has taken time because of the legal complexities of confiscation and asset sharing.

Senator Gorst said the completion of the agreement is a step towards ensuring these funds are returned to the people of Kenya, where they rightfully belong.