In Summary
  • Accounts in two banks holding Sh300 million suspected to be proceeds of a fake gold transaction.

  • In an affidavit filed in court, the investigator also sought to be allowed to scrutinise the books of accounts relating to the two accounts.

  • The documents to be inspected are account opening documents, statements of accounts since the opening of the accounts to date, cheques, cash deposits, withdrawals and RTGS transfers.

  • The court was told the named parties were likely to withdraw or transfer all the money, and frustrate the ongoing investigations.

A Nairobi court has frozen two accounts belonging to a law firm suspected to be holding funds alleged to be proceeds of fake gold.

Principal magistrate Martha Nanzushi allowed the application by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) freezing two accounts of Okundi & Company Advocates for three months. The court was told that the two accounts, one at Stanbic Bank and another at Standard Chartered, hold $3 million (about Sh300 million), on behalf of Jared Kiasa Otieno and Chris Philip Okeyo Obure.

SCRUTINISED

In an affidavit filed in court, the investigator also sought to be allowed to scrutinise the books of accounts relating to the two accounts. The documents to be inspected are account opening documents, statements of accounts since the opening of the accounts to date, cheques, cash deposits, withdrawals and RTGS transfers.

Mr Tom Ayieko Okundi, the principal partner of the affected law firm, is a man with a colourful legal career ever since he was certified to practice in 1996.

When working with Oraro and Rachier advocates, he played a key role in the 1998 scandal of grabbed Karura Forest plots. Parliament was told that he commissioned tens of companies that were allocated land in the forest. He would later argue that he was duped into being part of the deal and that he failed to check the authenticity of the companies’ directors and their signatures.

Mr Okundi’s alleged involvement in fake gold deals is also the subject of a lawsuit filed in 2015 by United Kingdom resident Ken Fazakerley.

In last week’s case, the court heard that ARA was informed by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) that the law firm received the amount from Simuong Group Company Ltd. It is alleged that the money was fraudulently paid to Mr Otieno who has already been charged in court.

It is alleged that Mr Otieno obtained the amount from the company pretending that he was in a position to sell them gold.

The investigator said that they have already opened an inquiry file, with plans to investigate the offence of money laundering and proceedings of crimes. The second account to be scrutinised in the same law firm is at Standard Chartered Bank, suspected to be holding money belonging to Mr Obure.

The court was told the named parties were likely to withdraw or transfer all the money, and frustrate the ongoing investigations.

PASSPORTS

Mr Otieno, known for his flashy lifestyle, is facing fraud charges in a Sh300 million fake gold transaction. He denied the offence and was released on Sh1.5 million cash bail. He was charged with 15 other persons.

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