SUSPICIOUS PAYMENTS?

How MP Gachagua received Sh5.7 billion in 7 years

Asset Recovery Agency says Gachagua, a close ally of DP Ruto, involved in complex scheme of money laundering.

In Summary
  • MP received received cash from various government agencies.
  • Gachagua's Sh200 million frozen for 90 days.

Details have emerged of how a first-term MP received more than Sh5.8 billion in seven years, payments that have now put him in trouble with anti-graft agencies.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, received the money  in what the Asset Recovery Agency has termed  “a complex scheme of money laundering”.

The High Court has frozen more than Sh200 million belonging to the MP, lifting the lid on his financial war chest.

The two accounts, one containing Sh165 million and the other Sh35 million, are both at Rafiki Micro Finance Bank.

A third account in the same bank has  another Sh773,228.

On Tuesday the MP told the Star: “I am confident the court will grant me justice after according me an opportunity to be heard”.

Documents filed in court by ARA show that the money started pouring into Gachagua’s accounts soon after the Jubilee administration rode to power in 2013.

He received funds from the Ministry of Lands, State Department for Planning, Ministry of Health, Bungoma County Government, Mathira CDF, Nyeri County Government and the National Irrigation Board.

The MP is the brother of the late Nderitu Gachagua, the first Nyeri governor who died in office on 24 February 2017.

“Preliminary investigations established that the respondents were involved in suspected complex scheme of money laundering involving several companies, which initially received funds from government ministries and state agencies and later transferred the funds  to companies/business entities associated with Gachagua and ultimately transferred the funds to Gachagua’s personal accounts,” documents filed in court read  in part.

For instance, on July 4, 2014, a firm identified as Specific Supplies Ltd and whose directors remain unknown received Sh64.75 million in two tranches from the Ministry of Lands and Housing.

The firm was first paid Sh12.75 million and another Sh52 million the same day.

However, four days later, the entire cash was wired to Gachagua’s personal account at Rafiki Microfinance Bank.

“On July 8 2014, Sh65 million was suspiciously transferred from account number 0012…236 in the name of Specific Supplies Limited held at Rafiki Bank to account number 00120 in the name of Rigathi Gachagua, the 1st respondent,” ARA states.

According to the ARA documents, another firm known as Encartar Diagnostics Limited received Sh50 million from Bungoma county on June 10, 2015.

Three days later, on the June 13, Sh35 million was wired into Gachagua’s account.

At the time Bungoma county was making payments to Encartar Diagnostics Ltd.

“I require time to conduct further investigations to establish the nature and purpose of the funds paid from Bungoma County to Encarta Diagnostics Ltd,” Fredrick Musyoki, a detective with ARA, pleaded with the High Court.

In his affidavit, Musyoki says that Gachagua is a close business associate of one Anne Kimemia, trading as Jenne Enterprises Ltd.

The officer said Jenne Enterprises is involved in complex money laundering schemes with Gachagua and at least three of his associated companies.

The listed firms are Wamunyoro Investment Ltd, Technical Supplies and Services (K) Ltd and Crystal Kenya Ltd.

ARA says that on July 15, 2015, Jenne Enterprises received Sh30 million from Rafiki Micro Finance Bank disguised as loan disbursement.

But on the same day, the firm wired Sh28.5 million to Wamunyoro Investment Ltd where Gachagua is a director and shareholder.

Towards the 2017 polls on April 3,  the documents show, Jenne Enterprises also transferred Sh10 million to Wamunyororo Investment Ltd.

The following day, the same firm wired to Gachagua’s personal account another Sh5 million.

The agency says the money movements were designed to conceal, disguise and hide the nature, source movement and depositing of the funds.

According to ARA, Gachagua operated at least three different bank accounts at Rafiki and would regularly make  internal transfers.

For instance, on January 7, 2014, Gachagua moved Sh100 million from his collection account to his fixed deposit account within the same bank.

Just recently, the MP claimed he was being harassed and intimidated by ‘the system’ over his firm stand on the 2022 succession.

The MP said he was also being targeted for articulating the concerns of the community over poor tea, milk and coffee prices and the collapse of businesses.

The staunch supporter of Ruto’ s 2022 State House bid alleged that two months ago he was threatened by a top adviser in government to toe the line or face the music.

He did not name the adviser.

The officer said Jenne Enterprises is involved in complex money laundering schemes with Gachagua and at least three of his associated companies.

The listed firms are Wamunyoro Investment Ltd, Technical Supplies and Services (K) Ltd and Crystal Kenya Ltd.

ARA says that on July 15, 2015, Jenne Enterprises received Sh30 million from Rafiki Micro Finance Bank disguised as loan disbursement.

But on the same day, the firm wired Sh28.5 million to Wamunyoro Investment Ltd where Gachagua is a director and shareholder.

Towards the 2017 polls on April 3,  the documents show, Jenne Enterprises also transferred Sh10 million to Wamunyororo Investment Ltd.

The following day, the same firm wired to Gachagua’s personal account another Sh5 million.

The agency says the money movements were designed to conceal, disguise and hide the nature, source movement and depositing of the funds.

According to ARA, Gachagua operated at least three different bank accounts at Rafiki and would regularly make  internal transfers.

For instance, on January 2014 7, Gachagua moved Sh100 million from his collection account to his fixed deposit account within the same bank.

Just recently, the MP claimed he was being harassed and intimidated by ‘the system’ over his firm stand on the 2022 succession.

The MP said he was also being targeted for articulating the concerns of the community over poor tea, milk and coffee prices and the collapse of businesses.

The staunch supporter of Ruto’ s 2022 State House bid alleged that two months ago he was threatened by a top adviser in government to toe the line or face the music.

He did not name the advisor.