Court freezes Mwangi wa Iria’s assets believed to be proceeds of crime

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Murang'a county governor Mwangi wa Iria

A Nairobi Court has frozen some properties belonging to Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa 

Iria and some of his associates believed to be proceeds of crime.

This is after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) moved to court seeking orders to restrain Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria from transferring two properties suspected to have been acquired through proceeds of crime.

EACC wanted Wa Iria together with Top Image Media consultants Ltd and Value View Ltd, companies associated with him from transferring property in Umoja Innercore  known as Nairobi block 83/14/309.

The anti-graft body also wanted to block him and the companies from disposing or dealing with a  5.6 hectares parcel of in MWeiga known Thungare /block II/Therange parcel number 762.

“The court be pleased to issue an order prohibiting the Respondents jointly and severally, by themselves, their agents, servants or any other persons from transferring, disposing of or in any other way dealing with the properties listed below pending conclusion of investigations by the applicant,” the petition reads.

The commission stated that it received a report citing Wa Iria as having influenced the award of tenders in Murang’a in favor of the Top Image Media consultants Ltd, a company owned by his close associates or relatives.

It is alleged that the companies were irregularly awarded various media buying tenders in the County Government of Murang’a between 2014 and 2017 and received more than Sh 542 million worth of contracts.

According to court documents, there are allegations of corruption, breach of procurement laws, and conflict of interest in the award of tenders by the County Government of Murang’a.

EACC is in the course of conducting investigations and has in its preliminary investigations established that indeed there was an illegal award of media buying tenders by the County Government of Murang’a to the Top Image Media Consultants Ltd Company at a cost of Sh 542,610,‪615.15‬ between the years 2013 to 2017.

Further investigations allegedly revealed that the Top Image Media consultants Ltd is owned by Iria’s associates who would subsequently transfer funds received from the County Government of Murang’a to the company directly and indirectly through Value View Ltd.

According to EACC, Top Image Media has also been in direct and indirect receipt of substantial sums of money from the Top Media during the time that he has been the Governor of Murang’a County.

The documents stated that he negotiated for and purchased the properties through the proceeds of crime, having received the money from one of the company’s from payment derived from the county government.

“The applicant is apprehensive that the respondents, in light of the on-going investigations, may in the intervening period, transfer, dispose of or in any other way deal with the properties to defeat the course of justice, before the applicant has completed its investigations or commenced civil proceedings for recovery,” says EACC.

The court heard that the recovery of the property will be rendered nugatory if the assets and funds reasonably suspected to constitute the proceeds of corruption and economic crimes, are allowed to dissipate.