£3m of illicit funds to be returned to Kenya

JERSEY has signed a deal to return £3million laundered on the island two decades ago to Kenya, with the country to use the money to support its Covid-19 response.

The repatriation of funds was agreed after the Royal Court convicted locally registered company Windward Trading Ltd in 2016 of holding money from bribes received between 1999 and 2001.

The company was then controlled by Samuel Gichuru, the former CEO of Kenya Power and Lighting, who it emerged last year will be extradited to the island alongside the former Kenyan finance minister. Chrysanthus Okemo.

Jersey Attorney General Mark Temple has now signed an asset recovery agreement with the Kenyan government in London to transfer the funds to the African country.

He said: “Today’s signing of this agreement shows that Jersey has no tolerance for financial crime and that our officers will confiscate funds associated with corruption and ensure these funds are returned to the benefit of those who have suffered effects of corruption.

“We have already prosecuted the Jersey company implicated in money laundering offenses and continue to support the ongoing extradition proceedings by the prosecution in Kenya to bring those responsible to justice.”

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said the decision was “the culmination of years of hard work”.

He added: “Achieving agreement on the return of these funds in a transparent and accountable manner is fully in line with the principles of the framework for the return of assets derived from corruption and crime in Kenya.” [a joint initiative between the African country, the UK, Switzerland and Jersey].

“This puts Jersey at the forefront of emerging international best practice in the area of ​​asset recovery and will ensure that the people of Jersey, the UK, Switzerland and – most importantly – the people of Kenya can have full Trust that these funds will be returned for all to see and benefit the people of Kenya as they continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

The illicit funds – £3,281,897 and $540,330 in total – were forfeited following the Royal Court ruling six years ago.

Following this, the Framework for the Return of Assets Derived from Corruption and Crime in Kenya was approved in 2018 to enable the return of money.

The FRACCK committee agreed in July 2020 that £3 million should be channeled into projects to help Kenya’s Covid-19 response, with 90% to be allocated to purchase essential medical equipment and the remaining 10% for support a community project to strengthen healthcare workers. capacity and home care.

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