Govt Goes After Ksh434M Account of Kenyan Jailed in US
By JOHN MBATI on 13 February 2021 – 8:25 am
The government wants a share of Ksh434 million belonging to a Kenyan jailed in the US for stealing from the American government.
The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) wrote to the High Court urging it to coordinate with the US government and direct Sila Jeffrey Ndungi to forfeit over Ksh17 million.
ARA said that the money, which was listed as part of the convict’s savings, and amounted to proceeds of crime.
Ndungi was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was arrested in 2019. He was also fined Ksh25 million by the court.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that the Sh17 million traced in the respondent’s bank accounts are illicit funds and proceeds of crime obtained from the crimes committed by the respondent (Ndungi) in the United States of America,” an excerpt of documents filed in court reads as detailed by the Standard.
A US court found guilty of robbing dead pensioners with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) disclosing that his syndicate ran in US and Kenya.
Ndungi and three other Kenyans Robert Mutua Muli, Amil Hassan Raage were among 281 suspects who were arrested for internet fraud scandal across nine countries worldwide. Kenya and Nigeria were the only African countries listed by the FBI.
Muli was accused of defrauding the Fairfax and Vermont County Governments in the US in fake computer tender scandals. Raage was an accomplice in the case.
Investigators disclosed that they nabbed Ndungi after he sold a treasury cheque to an undercover agent of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – the US equivalent of Kenya Revenue Authority – in exchange for Ksh4.8 million. He was accused of stealing treasury funds which were filed electronically.
Witnesses also revealed that Ndungi travelled to the US from Kenya with a large tax refund which he wanted to exchange for cash. During his arrest, detectives found him in possession of cheques worth Ksh 7.6 million.
The court heard that Ndungi owned two planes parked at the Wilson Airport, a top-of-the-range Cadillac Escalade and a Range Rover Sport, which were repossessed by the US government after he was apprehended.
Prior to his arrest, Ndungi in 2010 then an engineering student at University of Nairobi, allegedly hacked into a cable company in Kenya and Nigeria and sold service packages from his house in South B.
He successfully appealed his US case and is waiting for fresh hearing and sentencing.
In August 2020, the FBI warned Kenya of the upsurge in cybercrime activities in the country. It said that Kenya and other African states were being monitored for organised online crimes motivated by digitisation.