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Kenya: Noordin Haji focuses on 5 banks, officials in Sh8bn NYS scam

Kenya’s top public prosecutor says he is focusing on five banks and bank officials linked to shady transactions involving Sh8 billion looted from the National Youth Service.

Mr Noordin Haji on Thursday said he had appointed a team of prosecutors to review the findings of crime busters at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

SH3.7 BILLION

He said he would independently scrutinise investigation files on Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Equity Bank, Diamond Trust Bank and the Cooperative Bank of Kenya.

Also targeted in the review are bank officials, individuals and entities “for concealing, facilitating, aiding, abetting and benefitting” from the loot.

The five banks handled Sh3.72 billion that was burgled from the NYS before being wired to several individuals and firms, something investigators believe was aimed at laundering the loot.

Investigations by the DCI have revealed that Standard Charted had the highest amount of looted NYS funds moved, at Sh1.628 billion.

Of that, Sh558.58 million was transacted by bank officials who did not alert the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) of the huge amounts moved as required by law.

Mr Haji holds that Sh886 million was moved through Equity, out of which transactions of Sh271 million were not reported to the FRC.

REVIEW

Another Sh800 million was moved through KCB. The lender’s officials approved transactions of Sh148 million without following anti-money laundering laws, which require reporting of large transactions to the FRC.

Cooperative Bank allegedly aided the movement of Sh250 million, and failed to report transactions of Sh25 million to the FRC.

DTB allegedly failed to report the movement of Sh27 million out of the Sh164 million that passed through its systems.

Mr Haji says the special team of prosecutors will give recommendations on whether to agree with DCI head George Kinoti’s suggestion that the lenders and their officials be charged.

“…Central Bank of Kenya undertook targeted inspection of the five banks, which resulted in penalties and strict supervision regime to mitigate and address the identified gaps and other measures.

I have constituted a team of special prosecutors to independently review the respective files and make recommendations within 14 days,” Mr Haji said in a statement.

By Daily Nation

 

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