Court forfeits businessman’s Sh 43 million after he failed to prove source

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A Nakuru businessman has lost Sh 43 million after the High Court forfeited it to the state for being proceeds of crime.

Joseph Kamau lost the millions which were held at Equity bank after he failed to produce any license issued to him by any relevant body in support of the activities he is engaged in.

Justice James Wakiaga forfeited the Sh 43,122,454 and another Sh 406,114 from the same bank.

“The forfoited monies to be forfeited in the account of the Asset Recovery Agency held at Kenya Commercial Bank, KICC branch.

In his ruling, the judge said that the businessman failed to produce any license issued to him by relevant authorities in support of undertaking he is engaged in, leading to the only logical conclusion that his two motor vehicles having been converted to creat a concealed comportment for the purposes of smuggling goods which he has been charged with at lower court.

He added that the said motor vehicles were an instrumentality of crime and all the funds in the designated bank accounts are proceeds of crime and that Kamau failed to counter the evidence adduced against him by ARA.

“Therefore am satisfied that the Asset Recovery Agency has proved based on the evidence that the funds held in Kamau’s bank accounts in the absence of any rebuttable evidence to the contrary are proceeds of crime and therefore liable to forfeiture to the state,” ruled Justice  Wakiaga.

According to the judge, it is not enough for Kamau to state that he has been in business since 29th October 2014 and that he owns heavy commercial vehicles for commercial use financed by financial institutions and the same was under evidential burden to show to the court how the said loans are serviced and the source of the funds used in servicing the same.

The agency argued that Kamau failed to explain his source of funds and after their investigations it was established that the said funds were not legitimate.

While responding to ARA case Kamau informed the court that he was a registered businessman in Nakuru trading under Tifphat transporters and that he was a registered owner of three motor vehicles jointly owned with Equity bank limited as the financier for the use in his transportation and cereal business.

Officer Fredrick Musyoki told the court that they received information and conducted investigations which established that on 26th October 2019 Kamau’s three motor vehicles were impounded smuggling 390 cartons of supermatch cigarettes made in Uganda worth Sh 9,750,000 which had been concealed in a disguised place customized for smuggling goods.

Kamau was charged jointly with another for the offence of smuggling goods and importation of restricted goods contrary to East Africa community Customs Management act 2004 before Eldoret Chief Magistrate’s Court.