The government has recovered more than Sh3 billion from proceeds of corruption and money laundering in the past two years, with over 700 corruption cases ongoing across the country.
Attorney-General Paul Kihara says the State has frozen and recovered assets amounting to Sh2 billion in ongoing efforts at asset recovery, key among them Sh1.2 billion from the NYS 2 case.
“We have at least over Sh3 billion recoveries combined of corruption and money laundering cases.
"We are continuing with the financial investigations into the NYS case but we have also recovered assets that have been returned to the state,” said Mr Kihara in a speech on his behalf by Assets Recovery Agency Director Ms Muthoni Kimani on Monday.
The speech was read during an anti-money laundering and asset recovery workshop at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi.
Mr Kihara said the government stepped up its fight on corruption through the establishment of the National Task Force on Anti-Money laundering in 2015, which is responsible for increased investigations, arrests and prosecutions.
The task force is chaired by the National Treasury and has membership of AG, Financial Reporting Sector (FRC), law enforcement agencies and other institutions in the private sector which are key in regulating financial transactions and are under obligation to report suspicious transactions.
“Our focus on asset recovery has the highest political will from President Uhuru Kenyatta who has expressed his commitment in terms of the law and resources,” he said.
Hide illicit funds
He was, however, concerned that advancements in technology had made it easy to move and hide illicit funds.
He cited rising challenges due to rising transnational organised crimes and crime syndicates in terrorism, corruption, counterfeits, wildlife, drug trafficking, cybercrime and human trafficking.
On her part, Ms Kimani explained that identifying and tracing the assets is a complicated process that takes time and needs multi-agency approach.
She said they were collaborating with the Directorate of Criminal investigations to deal with the cases.
“The police and the DCI deal with predicate offences like fraud, corruption and embezzlement, economic crimes and so when we go to them they give us the information and we investigate by following and tracing the assets,” she said.
She said they have seized cars, houses and other properties in the NYS 1 case and recovered Sh500 million, while many assets in NYS 2 amounting to about Sh2 billion have been frozen.