The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is unable to trace over Sh5 billion that had been deposited in bank accounts belonging to Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.
Gachagua, who is being investigated for alleged money laundering, is said to have received at least Sh12.5 billion through three accounts in Rafiki Micro Finance Bank over a period of seven years (2013-2020).
The funds received from various government agencies including the Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Program), State Department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Bungoma County government, Mathira Constituency Development Fund, Nyeri County government, and the National Irrigation Board are suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Investigations by ARA revealed MP Gachagua’s involvement in a suspected complex scheme of money laundering, Business Daily reported.
In documents filed in court, ARA says it traced withdrawals amounting to Sh7.3 billion through bank statements in accounts with a balance of Sh200 million, which have since been frozen by the court.
The agency could not find statements to show how the remaining Sh5 billion of the 12.5 billion deposited into the MP’s fixed deposit accounts were withdrawn.
Court documents show that a saving account that received Sh5.8 billion has a balance of Sh773,228 while a fixed deposit account holds Sh35 million after receiving Sh877 million.
Sh5.87 billion was wired to a second fixed account of which Sh705.1 million was withdrawn, but the balance reads Sh165 million, leaving some unaccounted Sh5.1 billion.
Rafiki Micro Finance Bank said the Sh5.1 billion was used for trading transactions but ARA finds the explanation unconvincing.
ARA in a petition filed on Wednesday wants the frozen Sh200 million forfeited to the government, arguing that it is proceeds of crime.
“Preliminary investigations established that the respondents were involved in a suspected complex scheme of money laundering involving several companies, which initially received funds from government ministries and State agencies and later transferred the funds to companies/business entities associated with Gachagua and ultimately transferred the funds to Gachagua’s accounts,” ARA says in court documents.