Kenya: Anti-graft Commission Actively Recovering Stolen Cash

Published: 16 February 2018

By Katarina Sabados

Kenya’s anti-corruption authorities say they will retrieve close to US$3.7million that was taken illegally by former Kenya Power officials, The Standard reported Friday.

The Chief Executive of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Halakhe Wago, made the announcement after the Commission received a framework for repatriating Kenyan corruption assets from Switzerland.

Some $ 2.2 million were frozen this year in Switzerland from another corruption related case pending in Kenya. The identities and details of the accounts still remain secret.

Outgoing Kenya attorney-general, Githu Muigai, spoke favorably about the cooperation between Switzerland and Kenya in sharing information on potential financial crimes.

“A lot of money is in Swiss accounts, in which we have a lot of judicial interest and investigations in Kenya,” Muigai said. “We are glad that this framework is in place so that the money can be safely returned to Kenya.”

Corruption cases in Kenya have taken years to prosecute, and the country has received harsh criticism for delaying the repatriation of stolen cash.  

Kenya has yet to complete its investigations into the 2013 election scandal, where the directors of UK-based firm Smith & Ouzman were convicted of having bribed election officials in Kenya to obtain printing contracts. The firm was prosecuted in the U.K., but the Kenyan investigation is still ongoing.

According to Reuters, Kenya’s former anti-graft chief stated in 2016 that a third of the state budget - the equivalent of about $6 billion - was lost to corruption every year.