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September 25, 2017

Jersey, Kenya sign pact to return Sh380m stolen assets in Okemo, Gichuru case

Former Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru at the High Court for the hearing of a case on their extradition to Jersey over money laundering. /FILE
Former Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru at the High Court for the hearing of a case on their extradition to Jersey over money laundering. /FILE

Kenya and Jersey have signed an agreement for the return of assets worth more than £3 million (Sh380 million) stolen in the Windward Trading Limited scam.

The assets were confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey in February 2016 after the company pleaded guilty to four counts of money laundering.

Windward admitted to laundering the "proceeds of corruption" paid out to former Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru by 11 contracting firms between July 1999 and October 2001.

In a statement on Tuesday, Treasury PS Kamau Thugge said Kenya was happy with efforts made by the Jersey government.

"We welcome the positive cooperation between Kenya and Jersey and look forward to an enhanced partnership in future," he said.

Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gors, said the signing ceremony on March 3 conveyed a powerful message.

"Both Jersey and Kenya are committed to combating issues of historic corruption and financial crime," he said.

Last year, the Jersey authorities said they were "increasingly confident" they could convict Gichuru of money laundering.

In a letter to Attorney General Githu Muigai, Jersey AG Robert MacRae asked Kenya to expedite the extradition of Gichuru and former Energy minister Chris Okemo.

Read:We have proof to jail Gichuru, says Jersey AG

Also read: Judge okays Okemo, Gichuru extradition to Jersey over money laundering

Windward pleaded guilty to crediting £1 million (Sh142 million) and $2.9 million (Sh249 million) to its bank accounts on July 29, 1999, knowing the money was from Gichuru's corrupt dealings.

The company also pleaded guilty to transferring £449,988 (Sh63.8 million) to its bank account on May 12, 2000, and £450,000 (Sh64 million) on August 15, 2000.

Another £599,994 (Sh85.1 million) was transferred to its bank account on October 19, 2000.

Court documents show Gichuru "had total control" of Windward between July 29, 1999, and October 19, 2001.

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