The governments of Kenya and Jersey have signed an asset and recovery agreement which will see the return of Ksh 450 million in seized proceeds of corruption.
The agreement was signed between Jersey Attorney General Mark Temple QC and Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Ambassador Manoah Esipisu.
The funds were confiscated by authorities in Jersey in 2016, following the successful conviction of Windward Trading Ltd for money laundering offences.
The illegal funds that are expected to be channeled back to the country will be used to support the government’s continued response to the Covid-19 pandemic after a ruling by the Framework for the Return of Assets Derived from Corruption and Crime in Kenya (FRACK).
The FRACCK was signed in the presence of former British Prime Minister Theresa May in August 2018, by Swiss President HE Alain Berset during his official visit to Kenya in July 2018, and by the Minister of External Relations of Jersey, the Senator Ian Gorst, on his official visit to Kenya in December 2018.
With the help of Jersey Overseas Aid, two third-party providers have been selected to deliver these programs in Kenya, namely: Crown Agents and Amref Health Africa.
The ARA stipulates that 90% of the funds will be allocated to the purchase of essential medical equipment, including intensive care units and hospital beds, through Crown agents.
The remaining 10% of funds will support a community project with Amref Health Africa, which will build the capacity of healthcare workers and improve home-based care.
“I am delighted that we have reached this agreement to return these funds to Kenya to support their efforts in the fight against Covid-19,” said Senator Ian Gorst, Minister of External Relations for Jersey.
“Corruption is not a victimless crime. It has both direct and indirect consequences for people living in countries where corrupt practices have taken place.
He noted that the signing of the agreement showed that Jersey did not condone financial crime and that our officers would confiscate funds associated with corruption and ensure these funds are returned to the benefit of those who have suffered the effects of the corruption.
“The signing of the ARA is historic as it signifies the Kenyan government’s unwavering commitment to fighting corruption in all its manifestations. Repatriating the £3million means there is nowhere in the world for corrupt people to hide their loot,” said Manoah Esipisu.
“The Government of Kenya is committed to working with partners such as the UK, Switzerland and Jersey, to realize FRACCK’s aspiration. Other countries could learn best practices in tracking and repatriating illicit funds through the implementation of this FRACCK initiative,” he added.
For his part, the Head of Public Service of Kenya, Dr. Joseph Kinyua, said the preliminary asset sharing agreement was signed on 3rd March 2017, between the Government of Kenya and the Government of Jersey, paving the way for the process.
“It is appreciated that the original intention was to undertake projects in the energy sector, but after the outbreak of Covid-19, the steering committee adopted a pragmatic resolution to support project interventions in the health sector, noting the ramifications of the pandemic not only in Kenya but in all nations,” he said.