State wants drug-trafficking couple to give up luxury cars, millions in banks
The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) wants a suspected drug-trafficking couple to forfeit its cash, luxury cars and prime land to the government.
The State agency has applied for forfeiture orders at the High Court, which, if granted will see the couple, Mr Joseph Wanjohi and his wife Mrs Jane Wambui, surrender more than Sh10.5 million held in six bank accounts, three luxury cars and prime plots of land. The two are accused of heroin trafficking and wildlife poaching.
The court in November froze the couple’s bank account at Barclays and blocked the transfer of their Range Rover, Mercedes Benz and saloon cars as well as three parcels of land in Nairobi.
“That this Honourable Court be pleased to issue an order that the above funds, motor vehicles and properties be forfeited to the Government of Kenya and transferred to the Assets Recovery Agency,” the ARA says in its application.
Investigations into activities of the duo started in 2005.
They are said to have masterminded a criminal network of acquiring, trafficking, distributing and selling narcotic drugs through their family members and associates.
The duo was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in July and four elephant tusks recovered inside the master bedroom of their house at Parkside Drive, Muthaiga North.
The tusks with estimated street value of Sh700,000 were concealed using tape.
Detectives also seized assorted alcoholic drinks valued at Sh17 million that the couple is suspected to have been trading in without permits and certification clearances from relevant government agencies.
In 2009 Mr Wanjohi and his wife were charged with trafficking in heroin following a police raid at their Muthaiga home.
It was established that the couple’s agents, associates and conduits either deposited into their bank accounts money earned from the illegal narcotics trade and wildlife trophies or handed them hard cash.
The deposits were made in tranches of Sh1 million with the sole purpose of evading the reporting threshold as per the Central Bank of Kenya prudential guidelines for account holders to declare the source of their cash deposits.
The ARA sought a freeze order, arguing that there was proof that the cash and property were proceeds of crime.