The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) wants a former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) supervisor to surrender property worth Sh278 million to the government, alleging that he obtained it through kickbacks.
Jeremiah Kamau Kinyua, who resigned from KRA in March last year, amassed the wealth through underhanded means over a seven-year period during which his net income was Sh11.6 million.
Court documents show that the anti-graft agency has trained its sights on 18 plots of land and homes in Nairobi, Ruiru in Kiambu, Laikipia, and Kitengela in Kajiado.
Also being targeted are two motor vehicles worth Sh10 million. The properties in question are valued at Sh181 million, with Sh91.6 million in bank accounts and M-Pesa.
“Investigations revealed that the 1st Respondent received huge and successive cash deposits in his various bank accounts which he could not satisfactorily demonstrate the source and therefore the Commission reasonably suspects that the same were bribes,” EACC says.
The government agency initially targeted Kinyua and firms associated to him for property worth Sh359.5 million, but after investigations, the commission claimed he was able to explain how he gained some of the wealth.
Early last year, EACC officers raided Kinyua’s residence and seized almost Sh1 million in Kenya shillings, Chinese Renminbi, and UAE dirham, all of which should be forfeited to the government.
Some of the assets, as well as two companies, have been registered in his name: Cherya Enterprises Ltd and Bestline Enterprises Ltd. Sh174 million moved through his accounts and M-Pesa, with Sh18 million and Sh167 million going to Cherya Enterprises and Bestline, respectively.
Kinyua was the ultimate beneficiary of cash obtained by abuse of office and unethical behavior, said the agency.
EACC also stated that the funds were transferred in a convoluted manner to mask the unlawful sources.
Kinyua was hired as a graduate trainee at the KRA on January 28, 2005. He worked as a supervisor in the domestic taxation department until March of last year, when he left.
According to the EACC, his net remuneration between 2012 and 2021 was Sh11.6 million.
He purchased the said parcels of land in under seven years.
“In the alternative, the commission is seeking through the suit that where the said assets have been wasted or otherwise unavailable for forfeiture, an order for payment of the assets’ equivalent in monetary value be made to the government,” EACC told the court.
Justice Esther Maina extended orders prohibiting Kinyua from dealing with the property until May 26 when she well issue further directives.