Homa Bay County lost Sh30m in scam, probe shows


The anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the em­bez­zle­ment of mil­lions of shillings by some Homa Bay county of­fi­cials through pay­ments to ghost work­ers.

A pre­lim­i­nary re­port by the Ethics and Anti-cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (EACC) on the scan­dal in­di­cates that its in­ves­ti­ga­tors had so far con­firmed that more than Sh30 mil­lion was paid to ghost work­ers.

The fig­ure was con­firmed from state­ments ob­tained from the banks of the sus­pected ghost work­ers and se­nior county staff who are per­pe­trat­ing the fraud.

The doc­u­ment also cites cases of mul­ti­ple salary pay­ments to some staff, who, in turn, share the pro­ceeds with the ar­chi­tects of the scheme, who are in the fi­nance, hu­man re­source and pay­roll depart­ments.

“In some cases, the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the scam would get salar­ies, say up to six times in a month, and paid into dif­fer­ent bank ac­counts,” says the re­port.

It adds: “It was ob­served that once the monies hit the ac­counts of the re­cip­i­ents, they would chan­nel back some frac­tion of the pro­ceeds to some county govern­ment of­fi­cials’ ac­counts.”

The in­ves­ti­ga­tors raided county of­fices and homes of the sus­pected of­fi­cers on Septem­ber 5. Of­fices searched in­cluded those of the chief of­fi­cer (fi­nance) and the pay­roll man­ager.

Dur­ing the search, sev­eral doc­u­ments and gad­gets — in­clud­ing cor­re­spon­dence files, sev­eral pay­ment vouch­ers in sup­port of ir­reg­u­lar pay­ments, 12 cen­tral pro­cess­ing units, eight lap­tops, five flash disks, two hard drives, mo­bile phones and a tablet — were carted away by the EACC de­tec­tives for foren­sic anal­y­sis.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tors re­cov­ered Sh1,113,000 from a safe in the home of the prime sus­pect, whose name can­not be dis­closed for le­gal rea­sons. A site plan and four ti­tle deeds were also re­cov­ered.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.