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.