According to the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), former Youth and Gender Affairs Principal Secretary, Lillian Omollo, stashed KSh32.9 million in ten bank accounts registered in the names of three companies and her three children.
On Monday, ARA filed documents in the High Court seeking permission to declare the funds forfeited to the State.
However, neither Omollo, her three children nor the three companies; Lidi Holdings Ltd, Lidi Estates Ltd, and Sahara Consultants responded to the ARA's application.
A police sergeant attached to the ARA, Fredrick Musyoki, stated that investigations showed that the funds in Omollo’s accounts were from the NYS scam and needed to be surrendered to the government to help recover taxpayers’ money.
Furthermore, Musyoki revealed that after holding a meeting with Omollo and her husband, Dick Achieng’ Oneko on October 25, the husband insisted that he had given Omollo the money.
Oneko claimed that the money had come from the family’s joint farming business in Siaya, but they could not produce any proof for their claims.
The ex-PS was among 35 people charged with the theft of Ksh468 million from the National Youth Service (NYS).
According to the DCI detectives and DPP Noordin Haji, there was an existing elaborate scheme which involved all level of staff.
Fictitious invoices would be presented to the NYS with the help of junior staff, and payments quickly approved by senior managers and Omollo.
ARA boss Muthoni Kimani told the Senate’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that the agency had so far frozen Ksh300 million held in accounts owned and operated by suspects in the NYS case.
They had also blocked transactions involving land, cars and other assets worth Ksh2 billion, believed to be proceeds of the second NYS looting scam.
Nonetheless, it is reported that a month after her appointment on December 18, 2015, the 10 bank accounts immediately started receiving large amounts of money.
ARA noted that most of the money was deposited in batches of Ksh900,000, and in some instances, into three different accounts on the same day to beat Central Bank of Kenya regulations, that require financial institutions to report any transactions above Ksh1 million.
Besides, Section 44 of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) requires financial institutions to report to the authorities any suspicious activities such as sudden unexplained money transfers.
In the first round, flagged in 2015, the NYS headed by Nelson Githinji under the Devolution ministry, then headed by current Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, was believed to have lost over Sh2 billion.
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