SUSPECT PAYMENTS

Lawyers among those probed in Sony Sugar fraud

Cases in court over unpaid dues and forged documents of dead farmers

In Summary

•Acting MD says a private firm also involved in the investigation 

•More than 100 cases filed in court by farmers demanding payments 

Advanced Forensic Limited director Kimani Njuki speaks to journalists in his Kiambu office
FRAUD: Advanced Forensic Limited director Kimani Njuki speaks to journalists in his Kiambu office
Image: GEORGE MUGO

Several people, among them lawyers, are being investigated for the loss of billions of shillings at South Nyanza Sugar Company.

Some investigation has been done by Advanced Forensic Limited, a private firm of investigators.  The firm's director, Kimani Njuki, yesterday said they had forwarded their findings to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The sugar company, better known as Sony, is based at Awendo and is unable to pay suppliers, farmers and workers.

Acting managing director Bernard Otieno said, "When I took over, this company was in financial woes, even today as we try to recover. I formed an internal team to help me investigate. There are cases in which the DCI and the DPP are investigating some lawyers." 

Kimani said more than 100 cases had been filed in court by farmers demanding payments for their cane.   

The cases involve forgery of documents, filing of cases in different courts without the authority of farmers and using documents of dead farmers without their immediate family's knowledge.

The Advanced Forensic Limited investigators have recorded statements at the Migori DCI's offices for forwarding to DCI boss George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

A fortnight ago, Sony workers protested in the streets, demanding the sacking of Otieno and his administration.

Kimani, who spoke at his office in Kiambu, said a case had been filed five years after a farmer died and his signature forged. 

"When the family was approached over the issue, they were surprised and wondered how their relative had signed a court document this year yet he died some years ago," he said. 

Elijah Mbelesio from Migori died on December 17, 2013, but documents indicate he filed a case at Migori magistrate's court on July 12, last year. 

"I am sure some people will face the full force of the law for filing such cases, others for receiving money that was not theirs. That is fraud," Kimani said.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)