Govt Goes After Sonko's Ksh500 Million Wealth Amassed in 2 Years

  • Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court on December 9, 2019
    Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court on December 9, 2019
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  • Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is under investigation over allegations of illegally making Ksh500 million in just two years.

    The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is pursuing the governor for reportedly illegally amassing the wealth between August 2017 and December 2019.

    In court documents, the agency claims that the source of the governor's wealth was questionable and it was stashed in 10 bank accounts.

    The statement was recorded by the agency in response to the governor's application seeking to prevent his account from being frozen.

    Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko
    Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko
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    "It has been in the public domain that the respondent has been philanthropic in making donations which only shows that he is capable of providing for his living expenses, therefore, the preservation orders will not cause him any hardship or deprive his means to provide for his living expenses," argued the agency.

    The agency further accused the governor of engaging in smurfing, a technique in which huge chunks of money are subdivided into small amounts and deposited in multiple accounts in different banks by different people.

    The deposits reportedly started on August 17, 2017, where the accounts associated with Governor received Ksh30 million in 24 transactions. The smallest transaction was pegged at Ksh175,000.

    Four days later, a further Ksh8.8 million was deposited in the accounts while subdivided in 11 transactions.

    The 10 bank accounts are also spread out across different banks.

    In his response, the governor claimed that he is a victim of witchhunt and that the ARA was yet to prove that he acquired the wealth illegally.

    “I have not seen any evidence or proof of alleged money laundering or proceeds of crime attributable to me as alleged, or at all, adjudged as such by any court of law, or reported by any competent authority as constituting such proceeds of crime or money laundering.

    “I believe that it was not open to the ARA to make blanket allegations of ‘suspect funds’ in my generalised bank accounts while approaching the court for such draconian orders against me,” argued the county boss.

    This came days after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) raided his private office after accusing him of operating at the building illegally. The commission further alleged that the property belonged to Kenya Railways.

    Kenya Police officers pictured outside a police station. A naked man stormed the Embakasi Police Station on Saturday night, June 13, 2020.
    Kenya Police officers pictured outside a police station. A naked man stormed the Embakasi Police Station on Saturday night, June 13, 2020.
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