The High Court in Nairobi has issued orders to seize the property of three people charged with human trafficking.
Justice Esther Maina ordered the four cars and money owned by businessman Peter Mugi Kamau, Consolata Ndunge Musau and Hassan Ahmed Sheikh to be forfeit to the state.
The judge found that the Assets Recovery Agency had proved its case against the trio on a balance of probabilities that the land property LR Mlolongo/Ngwata Phase III/Plot No. 1264 with a five storey building, the funds in the cited bank accounts of Kamau and the motor vehicles KCL 704Z, KBK 017B, KBH 815V, KCB 520Y are all proceeds of the illegal business of trafficking in persons hence tainted property.
“The properties were proceeds of illegal business, therefore, all are liable for forfeiture to the state. Accordingly, judgement is entered for the Assets Recovery Agency against Peter Kamau, Consolata Ndunge Musau and Hassan Ahmed Sheikh and the property is forfeited to the state,” Justice Maina ruled.
In their application, Asset Recovery told the court that Kamau was arrested on the 7th October, 2020 in Huruma area, Nairobi on suspicion of the offence of trafficking in persons and was subsequently arraigned in the Chief Magistrate’s court in Kiambu on 13th October, 2020 where he was charged with the offence.
“During the arrest, a search was conducted at a house Kamua had rented within Umoja Estate, Mwihoko area in Kiambu County which search yielded twenty-two (22) Ethiopian citizens who are reasonably believed to be victims of trafficking in persons who had been detained by Kamau and his agents/associates,” the agency said.
In addition, a motor vehicle registration number KCY 752K Toyota Succeed which was used as an instrument to ferry the illegally trafficked persons by Kamau was impounded.
The court heard that the motor vehicle is registered in the name of Ahmed Sheikh. The Agency received information that Kamau acquired assets using the proceeds obtained from the illegal trafficking in persons.
Money from Ethiopia
Further, the Agency opened an inquiry file No. 62 of 2020 to investigate and inquire into the activities in the bank accounts of Kamau for purposes of ascertaining whether they hold any funds that are proceeds of crime and established that the funds in issue are proceeds of crime obtained.
The Agency also reasonably believed that the property known as Mlolongo/Ngwata Phase III/plot No. 1264 which is registered in the name of Consolata Ndunge Musa and the developments thereon was acquired and developed using funds from the illegitimate business of trafficking in persons.
It was further added that in her statement, Consolata admitted receiving money from Kamau which she used in the development of the five storey apartments and Kamau acquired the funds he contributed to the construction from the business of trafficking in persons.
Kamau is said to have received money on diverse dates through his mobile phone from his Associates/collaborators from Ethiopia Namely, Gadoro Wotamu, Meseret Kene Balcha, Bereket Degu Aredo, Sbria Hache, Ibrahim Shanqo Kadiro, Abdub Guyo, Emanuel Mota, Tekab Tekel Sifiso, Adan Kalla and Akbru Alemu Lemibemo.
The money is reasonably believed to have been obtained for the illegal human trafficking syndicate.
Kamau is accused of facilitating the movement of the victims by paying for their transportation, food and temporary accommodation in various safe houses littered along the corridor from Moyale to the Kenya/Tanzania border and the payments used to facilitate the movement of the victims are discernible in the Mpesa transactions of Kamau’s mobile phone account.
Investigations established that the victims of illegal human trafficking are transported through undesignated porous borders between Kenya and Ethiopia in groups by Kamau using his agents and are harboured in various hide-outs within Kenya and subsequently transported to various destinations such as Tanzania and South Africa.