25 March 2019

Kenya: Mystery of Ngirita Family's 'Missing' Sh250 Million

Photo: Daily Nation
Ann Wambere Wanjiku Ngirita.

Taxpayers are unlikely to recover more than Sh250 million wired to the accounts of three members of the Ngirita family from the National Youth Service (NYS) that is subject of fraud suit.

Ms Phyllis Njeri, Mr Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita and their mother Mrs Lucy Wambui Ngitira received Sh361 million from the NYS between November 2015 and April 2018, but the State managed to trace properties of less than Sh100 million.

Documents filed in court show the State has managed to freeze five parcels of land in Nakuru, Naivasha and Trans Nzoia and three Toyota cars estimated at Sh95 million, but there is no mention of the five bank accounts at KCB.

This signals that the billions that were siphoned were stolen through fictitious invoices and multiple payments on one supplier invoice.

Sources at Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) say the Ngiritas moved huge amounts of cash before a decision was made to charge them in a group of 54 persons among them civil servants and business people.

BOUGHT PLOTS

Court documents showed that Mrs Ngirita received Sh211 million from NYS to KCB accounts belonging to her firms, Waluco Investments and Ngiwaco Investments, while Jeremiah through his company Jerrycathy received Sh87.9 million between December 2015 and April 2016.

Mrs Ngirita transferred Sh58 million to her personal account at KCB, bought a Sh46 million plot in Naivasha and another in Nakuru for Sh7 million, ARA documents reveal.

She jointly with her son purchased 0.70-hectare parcel of land in Waitaluk in Kitale for Sh20 million.

Jeremiah bought plots in Naivasha and Nakuru for Sh2.5 million. Mrs Ngirita's daughter, Ms Njeri, received Sh57.2 million from NYS.

RED FLAG

"The investigations revealed Ms Njeri was paid directly to her personal account, which is contrary to procedure," says ARA. "This is clear case of fraud as there is no evidence of goods or services procured by NYS."

The Ngirita family received the Sh361 million from NYS that was split into 79 transactions in a scheme designed not to raise the red flag.

"The three accounts received Sh133.9 million between 17th and 18th October, 2016," says ARA

"Money received from NYS through their business entities were further intra-transferred within the same bank into accounts owned by family members."

KCB was fined Sh149.5 million for failing to report suspicious transactions in connection with the theft of funds at the NYS. Standard Chartered Kenya, Equity, Diamond Trust, and Co-operative Bank were also fined a total of Sh247 million.

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