Anti-graft team probes theft of Sh30m from Kilifi accounts
The Banking Fraud Investigations Unit has been sent to the county to investigate. The KRA and the Asset Recovery Agency also involved in the probe
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the alleged theft of more than Sh30 million from the Kilifi government accounts.
Upper Coast EACC deputy director George Ojowi on Sunday said a multi-agency team led by the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit has been sent to Kilifi to look into the matter.
He said the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Asset Recovery Agency will be involved in the investigations.
Ojowi said the money was fraudulently wired from the Kilifi govern- ment main account to two companies early this month.
“We have identified the two companies and we are now searching to know who the directors are. The money was paid between October 5 and 7,” he said.
“There are no records to show the companies carried out any business with the county. We suspect there are people who opened these companies to defraud the public.”
A source, who sought anonymity, said someone logged into the county government’s payment system using one of the senior finance officers’ password and wired the money to the two companies.
The source said it was an inside job as only few people know the password.
“I cannot say the system was hacked, but it is someone with access to the officer’s login credentials, who decided to steal the money,” the source said.
An officer from the IT department is said to have raised the red flag after noticing the unusual transfer. The cash was mostly from the Health department’s recurrent funds.
The EACC is also investigating a water project in Mwawesa ward, which cost Sh40 million. It is also probing the purchase of land for the Mtwapa bus park. It is alleged an acre was bought for an inflated price of Sh15 million.
“We are involving the ARA so that we can recover the assets of all those found culpable. We have gathered enough evidence that we would not like to let out to the public at this stage, but will do so in due course,” Ojowi said.
On Saturday, Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto said more than 50 per cent of the total allocation to the county has been misappropriated.
“Corruption is rife in Kilifi and everything is on the wall for everyone to see. This is not what we promised to stand for when we were seeking election. Something needs to be done,” he said.
Recently, the county government has made the headlines for corruption allegations.
EACC officials led by chief executive officer Halakhe Waqo (right) at North Coast Hotel, Kilifi, on September 11 last year