Former traffic police officer Jamal Bare Mohammed has accepted to forfeit Sh26.1 million he collected as bribes from matatu operators along the Garissa-Thika highway to the government.
Jamal, a police rider who used to patrol the highway, agreed to surrender the money in order to settle a case that has been pending in court for four years.
The money had frozen at Equity Bank pending the conclusion of a forfeiture application filed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which was pursuing Sh47 million from the officer.
The deal between Jamal and EACC to surrender a total of Sh26,193,071 held in his Equity Bank account was adopted by Justice James Wakiaga.
Jamal began negotiating with EACC last year and made a proposal for a settlement in line with Article 252(1)(b) of the Constitution, which allows the anti-graft agency to negotiate, ask for conciliation or mediation.
Besides the Sh26.1 million, EACC was also seeking to recover a parcel of land in Thika, which Jamal purchased at Sh3 million, and a motor vehicle. Following the deal, Jamal will keep the two properties. Jamal maintained that he inherited part of his wealth from his late father and that he was trading in livestock.
EACC told the court that it tracked the officer and recorded him receiving bribes after members of the public made a complaint.
“During the six years, we established that he had cumulative assets, cash, and land valued at Sh47 million. He had banked Sh26 million, which has been frozen through a court order,” EACC’s Philip Kagucia said.
EACC forensic investigator Paul Mugwe said a disparity was found between Jamal’s assets and his known legitimate sources of income.
Evidence produced in court showed that the 44-year-old made deposits in tranches of between Sh200,000 and Sh500,000 every week. The court heard that in the six-year period, Jamal earned about Sh1.8 million from salary.
In his defense, Jamal insisted his earnings were legitimate, arguing that he was the sole custodian of his late father’s wealth, acting as trustee on behalf of his family and relatives.
He claimed that after his father died in 1987, he took up the role of managing but EACC dismissed his claims, saying he was only 10 years when his father died.
Jamal, who joined the police service in August 1996, claimed he inherited some 120 camels, 80 cows, and 200 goats from his father, adding that the animals had multiplied to 217 camels, 180 cows, and 268.
But EACC submitted that the animals were worth about Sh4.3 million based on his own valuation, which left the source of the rest of the property and money unexplained.